Gone with the Wind Gone with the Wind discussion


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Why couldn't Suellen marry Frank and save Tara?

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Sandy It's said, Scarlett married Frank to save Tara. Suellen could have done it too.
How do you think?


Emma Because Suellen was selfish and cared much more about herself than saving Tara. Also, Suellen was weak and lazy and not nearly as smart as Scarlet, and even if she cared enough to try to save Tara she wouldn't have had the gumption to do what was needed. I dislike Scarlett for what she did to her sister, but I give the girl props for her fortitude and commitment to making sure the people she cared about survived.


Sandy Emma wrote: "Because Suellen was selfish and cared much more about herself than saving Tara. Also, Suellen was weak and lazy and not nearly as smart as Scarlet, and even if she cared enough to try to save Tara ..."

Thanks Emma.
Even if Suellen was selfish, if they had been married or engaged, they wouldn't let Tara go, as the daughter of Tara. If Scarlett tried to borrow $300 from Frank for the sake of Tara, would Frank reject?
I think if Frank was not selfish Suellen's beaux, but Carreen's, Scarlett would also make him HER husband.


message 4: by Holly (last edited Feb 08, 2014 04:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Holly Sandy wrote: "Emma wrote: "Because Suellen was selfish and cared much more about herself than saving Tara. Also, Suellen was weak and lazy and not nearly as smart as Scarlet, and even if she cared enough to try ..."

Frank never would have been Careen's beau, because Careen would never have become engaged to a man she didn't love simply to have the social standing of a married woman. Careen was sweet and gentle and pure of heart, Suellen was shallow, selfish and greedy. Scarlett did what she had to do.....and she made the right call. After all, Suellen just needs a husband, and any man will do, but Scarlett needed a man who would give her the tax money to save Tara. Rhett was her target, but after that fell through, she landed on her feet and resourcefully found a replacement. After all, what is more important, the family estate or a woman's vanity? It would have been one thing if Suellen had truly loved Frank, but the two of them had been carrying on a lukewarm, arranged marriage engagement for years.


Iris Emma wrote: "Because Suellen was selfish and cared much more about herself than saving Tara. Also, Suellen was weak and lazy and not nearly as smart as Scarlet, and even if she cared enough to try to save Tara ..."

How can you dislike Scarlett for what she did? I dislike Suellen for thinking that Scarlett did it to spite her. I mean even Ashley understood why she did it. If Suellen stepped up to the plate they could have all gotten what they wanted and everyone could be happy. I cannot dislike Scarlett for taking care of her family but I can dislike Suellen for not caring enough about them.


Mrsbooks I do believe Suellen really loved Frank. And I think Frank really loved her. Frank though was trying to "set himself up" to be a husband and provider. Frank didn't see that he was already there.

As we know Scarlet told Frank Suellen married someone else or got engaged...(can't remember for certain which way). Anyways that took Frank's hope away from marrying Suellen.

To the posters original comment. I had always wondered the same thing. Why couldn't Suellen have married Frank like she was supposed to have and saved Tara? I would have thought Mitchell would have explained Scarlet's reasoning on her decision to forgo that option, but she didn't.

I do however agree with one of the posters who said Suellen wouldn't have saved Tara. Even as a daughter of Tara she would have let it go. Tara was just a home they could no longer afford. Suellen would have been living in the city not at Tara. Why keep Tara going for everyone else when they could just as easily move somewhere else for cheaper and Suellen could keep her and Frank's money for themselves? She didn't love Tara. Tara was just another house to Suellen.


Randee Baty I think that Frank loved Suellen but I don't think that Suellen loved him, just the idea of having a fiance. I think Scarlett says that Suellen would never save Tara. She seemed to know Suellen well enough to be sure of that. IMO, lying to Frank was wrong but I do understand why Scarlett did it and I love Scarlett too much to fault her for wanting to save Tara by any means at her disposal.


message 8: by Emma (last edited Feb 08, 2014 06:53AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Iris wrote: "How can you dislike Scarlett for what she did? I dislike Suellen for thinking that Scarlett did it to spite her. I mean even Ashley understood why she did it. If Suellen stepped up to the plate they could have all gotten what they wanted and everyone could be happy. I cannot dislike Scarlett for taking care of her family but I can dislike Suellen for not caring enough about them. "

The problem to me is that Scarlett placed saving Tara above her sister's feelings. They didn't need Tara for their survival. It was more of a burden than anything at that point. I understand wanting to keep the family land and home, but to me family is more important. To Scarlett, Tara was the most important thing, after herself, of course. I think that's sad. I don't always get along with my sister, or even like her all of the time, but I value my relationship with her above just about everything. I grew up very poor, I know what it is like to be hungry, I currently live in relative ease financially and I can honestly tell you I would rather struggle to survive than risk losing my sister or betray her like Scarlett did. To tell you the truth, I would die first. Scarlett could have found another way to save Tara, she was resourceful. But she didn't hesitate an instant to betray her sister when an easy solution presented itself, nor did she even seem to have any guilt or remorse when she saw how wounded Suellen was. I can't blame Suellen for being angry and resentful of Scarlett, even if she did save Tara. Anyone would be if their sister “stole” their fiancée right out from under them. I can think of few things more painful. It was a despicable thing to do, whatever your reasons. I also really hate manipulation and Scarlett was a grade-a manipulator.

Of course Ashley understood. He married Melanie even though he was not in love with her (or so he thought), but because it was the "right" thing to do.


Emma Mrsbooks wrote: "I do believe Suellen really loved Frank. And I think Frank really loved her."

I agree. I remember Scarlett at one point reflecting on how pretty Suellen was when Frank was around and how she must really have cared for him.


message 10: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Mrsbooks wrote: "I do however agree with one of the posters who said Suellen wouldn't have saved Tara. Even as a daughter of Tara she would have let it go. Tara was just a home they could no longer afford. Suellen would have been living in the city not at Tara. Why keep Tara going for everyone else when they could just as easily move somewhere else for cheaper and Suellen could keep her and Frank's money for themselves? She didn't love Tara. Tara was just another house to Suellen. "

Exactly.


message 11: by Iris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iris Emma wrote: "Iris wrote: "How can you dislike Scarlett for what she did? I dislike Suellen for thinking that Scarlett did it to spite her. I mean even Ashley understood why she did it. If Suellen stepped up to ..."

I get that, but Suellen and Scarlett never had any familial love between them. They were basically strangers who happened to have the same parents. Blood doesn't equal family in all cases and to Scarlett Tara was family and Suellen was a burden that came with it.

I know I could never do that to my sister but I know many a person who would do just that with no hesitation. Each person is different and because Scarlett was bold, brazen and manipulative that seemed to her the only choice at the time simply because it was the fastest and easiest route to take. I can forgive Scarlett her unrepentant heart because it had to be that way to get her not only what she wanted but what they needed. (You do however make fair points and I respect them.)


message 12: by Cateline (new) - added it

Cateline Mrsbooks wrote: To the posters original comment. I had always wondered the same thing. Why couldn't Suellen have married Frank like she was supposed to have and saved Tara? I would have thought Mitchell would have explained Scarlet's reasoning on her decision to forgo that option, but she didn't.

Scarlett knew that Suellen was a selfish, self serving little wretch, and also had it in for Scarlett, on account of Scarlett's popularity. She knew that Suellen would never allow Frank to give/loan the money to save Tara. Suellen knew Scarlett would do about anything to save Tara, so would block her in anyway she was able to.


Emma wrote: The problem to me is that Scarlett placed saving Tara above her sister's feelings. They didn't need Tara for their survival. It was more of a burden than anything at that point. I understand wanting to keep the family land and home, but to me family is more important. To Scarlett, Tara was the most important thing, after herself, of course.

Yes, Scarlett was a selfish person, I agree to a great extent. BUT. I think one thing to remember is the way people thought at that time. The land was like her Mother....and it meant so much to her on account of Ellen and Gerald. Scarlett was only the second generation of O'Hara's to live there, her father came from Ireland to this country with practically nothing. His older brothers that were already here helped him, of course but Gerald made his own way. Scarlett was just like her father.

Iris wrote: I get that, but Suellen and Scarlett never had any familial love between them. They were basically strangers who happened to have the same parents.

Suellen was jealous of Scarlett from Day One and did all she could to spite her.

As far as Blood not equaling Family. Well, sometimes that is true, however Scarlett would never have disowned Suellen, or thrown her out of her home. If the situation had been reversed, Suellen would have reveled in throwing Scarlett out of Tara. In a New York second.

I don't think Suellen loved anyone but herself, with her Mother (possibly) second.


message 13: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Iris wrote: "I get that, but Suellen and Scarlett never had any familial love between them. They were basically strangers who happened to have the same parents. Blood doesn't equal family in all cases and to Scarlett Tara was family and Suellen was a burden that came with it...."

I agree completely with what you and I find it unbelievably sad. Even when I hate my sister (she is very difficult to get along with), I still love her.


message 14: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Cateline wrote: "As far as Blood not equaling Family. Well, sometimes that is true, however Scarlett would never have disowned Suellen, or thrown her out of her home."

True, but that would be more out of a sense of duty than anything resembling love or affection.


Holly In the end, Suellen was happily married to Will Benteen; so I guess she was able to get over Frank and move on.


message 16: by Cateline (last edited Feb 09, 2014 08:25AM) (new) - added it

Cateline Emma wrote: "Cateline wrote: "As far as Blood not equaling Family. Well, sometimes that is true, however Scarlett would never have disowned Suellen, or thrown her out of her home."

True, but that would be more out of a sense of duty than anything resembling love or affection...."


I think you are right, but it is still more than Suellen would have done. And, isn't duty really a form of love? IMO, it is.

Holly wrote: In the end, Suellen was happily married to Will Benteen; so I guess she was able to get over Frank and move on.

Will was a gem. In many ways, he was responsible for saving Tara, and what was left of the family as much as Scarlett.


Mrsbooks Emma wrote: "Iris wrote: "How can you dislike Scarlett for what she did? I dislike Suellen for thinking that Scarlett did it to spite her. I mean even Ashley understood why she did it. If Suellen stepped up to ..."

I agree with this. Scarlet didn't save Tara for everyone. She saved Tara for herself. Yes through it all Scarlet did save everyone and Scarlet is strong for doing that. But when it came down to the home, that was more important to Scarlet than her sister.


Sandy Iris wrote: "How can you dislike Scarlett for what she did? I dislike Suellen for thinking that Scarlett did it to spite her. I mean even Ashley understood why she did it. If Suellen stepped up to the plate they could have all gotten what they wanted and everyone could be happy. I cannot dislike Scarlett for taking care of her family but I can dislike Suellen for not caring enough about them.
"


I dislike Scarlett’s marrying Frank too, it’s no way a brilliant thing as Scarlett knew herself, she made it like an elopement without inviting any friends or relatives (Although Frank did want to invite his sister and brother-in-law.)

Ashley understood? He was helpless, and the marriage wouldn’t hurt him (and any other people at Tara except Suellen) at all, it’s completely different to Suellen, instead, the marriage saved Ashley and his family, why couldn’t he understand?

Even Suellen was selfish, she didn't deserve to be treated like this.


message 19: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Cateline wrote: "I think you are right, but it is still more than Suellen would have done. And, isn't duty really a form of love? IMO, it is."

Duty is a form of love if it is founded on love. Scarlett's sense of duty was founded on the Southern rules of conduct, rather than affection for her sisters. That's what prevented her from just asking Frank for the money (which I'm sure he would have gladly given) and instead manipulating him into marriage. I do agree with you about Suellen. However, as Sandy said, Suellen's selfishness doesn't justify Scarlett's actions. My idea of "goodness" is that a person treats everyone with respect and kindness, even if that person seemingly doesn't deserve it (that doesn't mean letting them take advantage of you). But I am a bit of an idealist, I admit.


Brooke West There's no family bond between Scarlett and Suellen at all. At one point, Scarlett even reflects upon their relationship and acknowledges that she doesn't even like her sister due to Suellen's shallow and selfish personality. To Scarlett, Tara is the representation of her family. Her mother lived and died there and the house and land was her entire life. Leaving the plantation up to Suellen to save was inconceivable to Scarlett; she's a woman who can't stand by and let her life passively go by. Instead of hoping that Suellen would somehow overcome her intense selfishness, Scarlett attempts to marry Rhett to get the money. When that plan falls through, the only other option for Scarlett was to marry Frank. She didn't want to, and she wasn't even out to hurt Suellen. Scarlett simply followed through on what would be the only way for her to save Tara.


Sandy Brooke wrote: "There's no family bond between Scarlett and Suellen at all. At one point, Scarlett even reflects upon their relationship and acknowledges that she doesn't even like her sister due to Suellen's shal..."

Don’t blame Suellen’s selfishness. If Frank had been sweet gentle pure-hearted Carreen’s beaux (put aside Carreen’s age, that’s not important), Scarlett would do the same thing.


message 22: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma I just have to say that I think it is funny that many readers use Suellen's selfishness as justification for Scarlett's selfish actions. Two wrongs make a right?

One other thing I find amusing is that Scarlett, who was so determined to save Tara, spent most of the rest of the book away from Tara, and it was Suellen and Will who lived there permanently. Anyone else find this a bit ironic?


message 23: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Brooke wrote: "Scarlett simply followed through on what would be the only way for her to save Tara."

I don't think that is true at all. She was resourceful enough to find another way. And if she had set aside her pride for a moment, she could have simply asked Frank to lend her the money. I don't think he was the kind of man to be offended by his fiancee's sister asking him for help to save the family plantation, even if it was considered "improper."


Mrsbooks Emma wrote: "Brooke wrote: "Scarlett simply followed through on what would be the only way for her to save Tara."

I don't think that is true at all. She was resourceful enough to find another way. And if she h..."


I don't think Scarlet could have found another way to save Tara. She had already even offered herself up to be someone's (Rhett's) mistress. I call that at your last straw and she just happened to stumble onto Frank minutes afterwards.

The point isn't so much finding another way as was it necessary in the first place? Tara wasn't everything. Tara wasn't people. To Scarlet though, it was much more than just a home.

I also don't believe Scarlet would have ever asked Frank for the money. Maybe I'm wrong and she would have. Frank would have known Scarlet would never be able to pay him back. Would Frank have given up all that money to support Scarlet and her family to live at Tara when it wasn't even necessary? Other homes can be had. Why should Frank sacrifice all his hard earned money to support a family that doesn't really need it when it comes right down to it? And I do believe he would have been offended by the question for those very reasons if not for the impropriety of the whole thing. I don't believe Scarlet would have asked because she was smart enough to know how Frank would feel about it.

Scarlet asking Rhett for the money was different because Rhett was a scoundrel. You don't however go and ask a regular normal gentleman to support you financially. Having married him, it would be different.

However, in the end, all these idea's are kind of moot anyways because the issue when it comes right down to it, is, was it necessary for Scarlet to marry Frank to save the family? The answer is no, because Tara was not the family and that's what they needed the money for. There were other places to live.

In the end Scarlet made her decision because to her, Tara was more precious than anything.


Sandy Mrsbooks wrote: "Emma wrote: "Brooke wrote: "Scarlett simply followed through on what would be the only way for her to save Tara."

I don't think that is true at all. She was resourceful enough to find another way...."


Why did Frank save money?
His purpose was to marry Suellen as soon as possible, if Scarlett had approved their marriage right away, I don't think Frank wouldn't lend them money.
Tara was not only Scarlett's home but also Suellen's home, remember Frank himself was nursed at Tara when he was back from the war.


message 26: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Mrsbooks wrote: "Why should Frank sacrifice all his hard earned money to support a family that doesn't really need it when it comes right down to it? And I do believe he would have been offended by the question for those very reasons if not for the impropriety of the whole thing. I don't believe Scarlet would have asked because she was smart enough to know how Frank would feel about it."

This is why I think Frank would have given Scarlett the money if she had told him what was happening and asked him instead of marrying him (Chapter 28, pg 399, when Frank's troop stopped at Tara): “Frank was remembering the Tara he had known before the war and on his face was a hurt look, a look of tired impotent anger. He loved Suellen, liked her sisters, respected Gerald and had a genuine fondness for the plantation. Since Sherman had swept through Georgia, Frank had seen many appalling sights as he rode about the state trying to collect supplies, but nothing had gone to his heart as Tara did now. He wanted to do something for the O’Haras, especially Suellen, and there was nothing he could do.”

I think Frank would understand how important Tara was to Scarlett and would have wanted to save it for all of them, especially for Suellen. Under normal circumstances he may have been offended by the question, but everything was falling apart, people were struggling to stay alive, situations were dire. Knowing the alternative was for them to lose Tara forever, I think he would have set aside rules and customs and been happy to help his future family.

Mrsbooks wrote: "Scarlet asking Rhett for the money was different because Rhett was a scoundrel. You don't however go and ask a regular normal gentleman to support you financially. Having married him, it would be different."

She went to Rhett because he was the only man she knew who had enough money to save Tara, and she knew she had something that he wanted (i.e., her). If she had known a man who was rich enough to save Tara and he wouldn't fall for her feminine wiles, she would have done everything she could to extract the money from him. And after Rhett had made it clear he would not give her the money, she still hadn't completely given up hope, she was still thinking how she could get it. I'm convinced that Scarlett was one of those people who would by sheer determination and cunning find some way to get it, with or without a man. Frank just happened to be a convenient solution. Also, he wasn't just an ordinary gentleman, he was her future brother-in-law. It's not like he didn't have an interest in the O'Haras and Tara. She married Frank because she was too prideful to ask for the money and didn't trust Suellen with the task. She knew the only way she could entirely control the situation was to marry Frank.


message 27: by Jori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jori Sandy wrote: "It's said, Scarlett married Frank to save Tara. Suellen could have done it too.
How do you think?"


I think that many people have replied with great answers. Part of it is that Suellen did not care about Tara the way Scarlett would have liked her to. Bigger than that though, Scarlett felt alone in the world but wanted to protect everything her parents worked for (Tara) and her loved ones so she wanted to take matters into her own hands to make sure that "they would never be hungry again". I think that it is easy to judge her for this but if I was in her place I do not know if I would have done it differently - it was just very different for women back then.


Sandy Jori wrote: "Sandy wrote: "It's said, Scarlett married Frank to save Tara. Suellen could have done it too.
How do you think?"

I think that many people have replied with great answers. Part of it is that Suelle..."


“She wasn’t going to sit down and patiently wait for a miracle to help her.”
Maybe that's part of the reason. She needed the money, needed it as soon as possible. :)


Sandy Chapter XXXIX

“Well, you’ve kept the roof over us and food in the pantry and I ain’t denyin’ that, but you
ain’t given much thought to what’s been goin’ on in anybody’s head here at Tara. I ain’t
blamin’ you, Scarlett. That’s just your way. You warn’t never very much interested in what
was in folks’ heads. But what I’m tryin’ to tell you is that I didn’t never ask Miss Carreen
because I knew it wouldn’t be no use. She’s been like a little sister to me and I guess she talks
to me plainer than to anybody in the world. But she never got over that dead boy and she
never will. And I might as well tell you now she’s aimin’ to go in a convent over to
Charleston.”


message 30: by Sandy (last edited Feb 12, 2014 07:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandy Chapter XXX
“Her beau, that boy Brent something-or-other who was killed at Gettysburg.”
“Her beau?” said Scarlett shortly. “Her beau, nothing! He and his brother were my beaux.”
“Yes, so she told me. Looks like most of the County was your beaux. But, all the same, he
was her beau after you turned him down, because when he come home on his last furlough
they got engaged. She said he was the only boy she’d ever cared about and so it kind of
comforts her to pray for him.”
“Well, fiddle-dee-dee!” said Scarlett, a very small dart of jealousy entering her.

=====
If I ask: Do you wish to have an elder sister like Scarlett?

I'll probably say "no".


Cynthia Greenlee Suellen would not have invested Frank's money inTara.


Mrsbooks Cynthia wrote: "Suellen would not have invested Frank's money inTara."

Well that was simply put and the answer in a nutshell without all these long explanations lol.

We all know Frank was a pushover too so if Suellen didn't want it invested in Tara it wouldn't have been put in Tara no matter if Frank had really wanted to (which I really don't believe he would have wanted to).


message 33: by Jaksen (last edited Feb 15, 2014 02:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jaksen Sandy wrote: "It's said, Scarlett married Frank to save Tara. Suellen could have done it too.
How do you think?"


Nope. GTTW is Scarlet's book, not her sister's. It's all about Scarlet's drive to get what she wants, or needs, at any and all cost. And she's determined to save Tara, because as her father told her, the land is the only thing that lasts.

I've hated and loved Scarlet since I was about 11, when I first read the book. (I read the version which was sold when the movie came out. It has movie stills in it. I guess my mother bought it at that time.)

In the scheme of things, Suellen was not important to Scarlet. She sort of 'got in the way,' to be honest. Do I like what Scarlet did by 'stealing' Frank away? Not really. Do I understand why she did. Definitely.


message 34: by Emma (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emma Jaksen wrote: "I've hated and loved Scarlet since I was about 11, when I first read the book. (I read the version which was sold when the movie came out. It has movie stills in it. I guess my mother bought it at that time.)

In the scheme of things, Suellen was not important to Scarlet. She sort of 'got in the way,' to be honest. Do I like what Scarlet did by 'stealing' Fran away? Not really. Do I understand why she did. Definitely."


This is exactly how I feel about Scarlett. It really speaks to Mitchell's talent that I can thoroughly dislike the main character and most of her actions and yet still be totally engrossed in her story and be rooting for her to succeed.


Vanessa  Eden Patton Suellen would have married Frank and left Tara in shambles. I think this because Suellen herself said she hated Tara. I also think she harbored much resentment towards Scarlett because of her popularity and her parents doted on her. And because Tara was to go to Scarlet, she would rather see it destroyed. Tara was a representation of Scarlett and Suellen hated everything that had anything to do with her.


Mrsbooks Emma wrote: "Jaksen wrote: "I've hated and loved Scarlet since I was about 11, when I first read the book. (I read the version which was sold when the movie came out. It has movie stills in it. I guess my mothe..."

HAHA agreed! I have such love/hate feelings for Scarlet!


Vanessa  Eden Patton Mrsbooks wrote: "Emma wrote: "Jaksen wrote: "I've hated and loved Scarlet since I was about 11, when I first read the book. (I read the version which was sold when the movie came out. It has movie stills in it. I g..."

I disliked Scarlett in the book far more than in the movie.


Melissa Emma wrote: "Jaksen wrote: "I've hated and loved Scarlet since I was about 11, when I first read the book. (I read the version which was sold when the movie came out. It has movie stills in it. I guess my mothe..."

Agreed. :)


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