In Gone with the Wind, where can the reader see a display of Melanie's personality?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While Scarlett occupies much of the narrative, I think that one can find specific moments where Mitchell's praising of Melanie are present.  When Melanie selflessly surrenders her jewelry to the Confederate cause, it is a moment when the reader learns of her nature.  Whereas Scarlett is consumed with her own magnitude and her own self interest, Melanie is overwhelmed with the Confederate cause.  While her husband is part of this campaign, Melanie empathizes with the other women who are sacrificing their own senses of self in order to embrace the collectivity of the Confederate cause.  In this light, Melanie's personality is on display in this scene and represents her nature as one that is unafraid of sacrifice and identifying herself with a collective sense of identity.  Outside of her sense of personal responsibility, this particular scene is one where Melanie does not hesitate to identify herself with a reality outside of her own sense of the good.