Scarlett O'Hara: Tragic Hero?
According to Aristotle, there are three common occurrences in the lives of all tragic heroes. The classic tragic hero of Aristotelian poetics is of noble derivation and nature. The fatal flaw which is usually hubris, or pride, commonly precipitates a catastrophic downfall (Greenberg par.1). Lastly, a humbled recognition of his flaw, and a reversal of fortune must occur. Scarlett O'Hara, from Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, exhibits all the qualities of a tragic hero as defined by the famous playwright Aristotle.
The first characteristic of all tragic heroes is nobility. Scarlett O'Hara was born the daughter of a wealthy and successful plantation owner in Clayton County, Georgia in the 1840's. Her family was held in high esteem by the neighboring plantation owners, and their plantation, Tara, produced large cotton crops. This harvest, which was bountiful in the least, brought in a steady income every year, enough to finance all of their needs. "They looked out past Gerald O'Hara's newly plowed cotton fields toward the red horizon." (Mitchell 7) As Scarlett matured, she rarely had to go without any kind of desired object, and many thought her spoiled because of this.
Scarlett was not a gorgeous looking girl, but she was very pretty, and took pride in her looks. "...how her green eyes danced, how deep her dimples were when she laughed, how tiny her hands and feet, and what a small waist she had." (Mitchell 14) She was envied by the other girls, for she was able to catch any man using her charm. "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm..." (Kelly, par. 1). This, combined with her self-centeredness helped her steal the beaux away from many of her friends, and even her own sister. Scarlett O'Hara came from a wealthy family, was pretty and charming, and known by many as the "Belle of the County," for she was always in the center of attention. Using these criterion, it has been...
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