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India Wilkes as portrayed by Alicia Rhett in the 1939 film
|First appearance||Gone with the Wind|
|Created by||Margaret Mitchell|
|Portrayed by||Alicia Rhett|
|Family||Ashley Wilkes (brother)
Honey Wilkes (sister)
Melanie Hamilton (sister-in-law/cousin)
Beau Wilkes (nephew, via Ashley)
In the novel, India despises Scarlett for stealing the attentions of Stuart Tarleton. India also resents Scarlett for marrying Charles Hamilton, the man that everyone assumed would marry her sister, Honey Wilkes. In the film, India is in love with Charles Hamilton and despises Scarlett for marrying him. The book mentions that the only word that could be used to describe her looks was "plain".
After Scarlett's marriage to Charles, in the novel, Stuart resumes courting India but dies in the American Civil War before they can make their relationship official. Since it is assumed that Stuart would have married India had he lived, she is given the respect accorded to widows. Once afforded this status, she grows more sharp-tongued, and is able to say things that most unmarried women cannot.
India moves in with Ashley and Melanie after they move to Atlanta. When Scarlett's engagement to Rhett Butler is announced, India endorses cutting them both from respectable society. She blames Scarlett for causing the death of her previous (second) husband, Frank Kennedy. India also implies that there had always been more to Scarlett and Ashley's relationship than was apparent. Melanie refuses to believe or listen to her sister-in-law, and makes it clear that if Rhett and Scarlett are shunned, then she will be so as well. Melanie's loyalty to Scarlett and Rhett drives a wedge between herself and India.
India is one of the two people who see Scarlett and Ashley embrace. Because Melanie defends Scarlett and Ashley, India leaves the Wilkes home and moves in with Aunt Pittypat. India apologizes for the quarrel, later on, when Melanie is on her deathbed.
India is a traditional southern Antebellum "lady" who takes the place of hostess and lady of the house after her mother dies. She remains unmarried at the end of Gone with the Wind. India is referred to as an "old maid" by Scarlett.
In the movie, she was played by Alicia Rhett.
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