I’ll think of it all tomorrow, at Tara. I can stand it then. Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.
These words, Scarlett’s personal motto, conclude Gone with the Wind. Scarlett repeats some variation of this line several times over the course of the novel when hardships plague her. She knows that she often acts immorally and that she faces absurdly difficult circumstances, and to avoid feelings of guilt and helplessness she simply avoids reflecting on her life. Scarlett knows that eventually she should mull over her plight, but she always puts it off until another, different day, which never truly comes. But this refusal to reflect is crucial to Scarlett’s survival. Her attitude contrasts directly with Ashley’s obsession with the past and his inability to let go of nostalgia and adapt to new times. Scarlett’s determination to believe that “tomorrow is another day” indicates her fundamental optimism about the future. Because Scarlett represents the South, her optimism indicates Mitchell’s general optimism about the South’s ability to survive in the face of change.