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Many of the things Scarlett does to make sure she will never be poor or helpless seem to outsiders to be cold and heartless, but in reality she does them to save her family and her home. She begins at Tara by working herself and her family members "like fieldhands" to keep everyone fed and to harvest the cotton crop. Her family has never worked this way, and her sister Suellen is very resentful of it. When the taxes on Tara are raised by the carpetbaggers, she travels to Atlanta to trick Rhett Butler into giving her money by pretending to be in love with him. When that fails, she steals Suellen's beau, Frank Kennedy, and convinces him to marry her instead. She then bullies Frank into expanding his lumber business. Her role in the lumber business is frowned upon by her peers (with the exception of Melanie), particularly when she hires prisoners to work the mill and a disreputable man to be in charge of them. While this man abuses the prisoners, Scarlett chooses to overlook the abuse because the prisoners are cheaper to work than free "darkies". Scarlett takes to driving her own carriage in her unfeminine pursuit of expanding her business, ultimately causing the death of Frank Kennedy. Most of society shuns her behavior and her quest for money, with the exeption of Rhett and Melanie. Rhett admires her disregard for society, and Melanie understands why Scarlett is behaving the way she is. After her marraige to Rhett, Scarlett continues her persuit of money with the lumber mill, despite the fact that she and Rhett are very well off. This indicates that after her experiences with hunger and desperation at the end of the war, Scarlett will never have enough money or food to ease her anxiety (as also illustrated in her nightmares). Her insecurities eventually lead to her downfall, as her quest for comfort leaves her blind to nearly everything else in her life.
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