Abstract：Margaret Mitchell enjoys a great reputation in the literature history with her famous work Gone with the wind, a novel describes a group of Southern people who have gone through the Civil war and reconstruction times. It is an excellent material to study the Southern culture as well as Southern literature. The author Mitchell creates a lot of vivid characters which impress the readers as they have completely different personalities. Through it is a novel and all character are fictive, it does bring some thinking to us in real life because art is from life. We can observe these characters’ reactions to the big changes in their lives and how they grow from what have occurred to them. They all go through the Civil war and the reconstruction period, but they end up in different conditions, both mentally and materially. Before the Civil war, they all enjoy a luxury and decent life as classical Southern ladies and gentlemen, but the war deprives all they have and make these people start from zero. Some of them make a great fortune and prove themselves to be insightful and flexible, while some break down, have to depend on others and can’t get out of their mourning to the old days. In this essay, I will first analyze three major characters——Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes, in terms of their personality in great details. Through these analyses, I hope to find their essential personalities which walk them through the changes. In part two, I will continue working on the analysis of their respectful destinies and their relation with characters’ personalities. After all these discussions, I will come to a conclusion concentrating on whether their personalities have led to their respective destinies. Through this study, we can form an idea of what is the essential quality that contributes to people’s survival during the changing period, and how important the roles are that personalities play in people’s destines.
Key words: character, destiny, southern culture