Why is Big Sam in Atlanta in Gone with the Wind?
In many respects, Big Sam represents how the Confederate viewed people of color towards the end of the Civil War. Desperate for anything in terms of soldiers to offset the massive losses being sustained, slaves were "drafted" to fight for the South, who began to fully grasp that they were losing and defeat was inevitable if they did not respond quickly. Slaves like Big Sam was their response. His presence in Atlanta also serves to help Scarlett fully understand how the world has changed from the start of the war to the end of it. The setting in which Scarlett could dismiss the Tarleton Boys with a "Fiddlee Dee" and be content with slaves singing about "quittin' time" on the plantations has now been supplanted with a new reality, where Scarlett must befriend those who might have been either beneath her or opposed to her in order to maintain viability.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial