" 'Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything.' "
Gerald's advice to Scarlett when she is pining over the loss of Ashley Wilkes to Melanie Hamilton.
" 'What most people don't seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one.' "
Rhett's prophetic words to Scarlett foreshadow the immense fortune he builds up by blockade-running and speculating during the war, as well as Scarlett's future success in business.
" 'All wars are sacred,' he said. 'To those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn't make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is 'Save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!' Sometimes it's 'Down with Popery!' and sometimes 'Liberty!' and sometimes 'Cotton, Slavery and States' Rights!' "
Rhett signs the warrant of his social ostracism from Atlanta society by telling the truth as he sees it about the war.
" 'Mistress! What would I get out of that except a passel of brats?' "
Scarlett is unimpressed by Rhett's proposal that she become his mistress.
" 'I won't think of it now. I can't stand it now. I'll think of it later.' "
Scarlett is stunned by the sight of the Wilkes' home, Twelve Oaks, which has been burnt to the ground by the Yankees. Her response - to avoid thinking of it now - is one that she often relies upon to dull the effects of grief, worry or the pangs of conscience.
"Hunger gnawed at her empty stomach again and she said aloud: 'As God is my witness, and God is my witness, the Yankees aren't going to lick me. I'm going to live through this, and when it's over, I'm never going to be hungry again. No, nor any of my folks. If I have to steal or kill - as God is my witness, I'm never going to be hungry again.'"
Lying weak from hunger in a vegetable garden at the burnt-out Twelve Oaks, Scarlett decides that not only is she going to survive, but she is going to prosper.
- " 'In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven't are winnowed out.' "
Ashley tells Scarlett what will happen as a result of the war.
"A startling thought this, that a woman could handle business matters as well or better than a man, a revolutionary thought to Scarlett who had been reared in the tradition that men were omniscient and women none too bright."
Scarlett realizes that she could run Frank's business better than he does.
" 'You're so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett. You take their love and hold it over their heads like a whip.' "
Rhett explains to Scarlett why he could never admit to his true feelings for her.
" 'My dear, I don't give a damn.' "
Rhett, his love worn out, replies to Scarlett's desperate question as to what she will do if he leaves her.
Gone with the Wind: Top Ten Quotes