Ellen O'Hara (nee Robillard) is the mother of Katie Scarlett O'Hara, Susan Elinor (Suellen) O'Hara, Caroline Ireen (Careen) and three sons all named Gerald O'Hara Jr. She is also the wife of Gerald O'Hara. Daughter of Solange and Pierre Robillard, she grew up in Savannah and fell in love with her cousin, Phillippe Robillard. However, he was killed before she turned fifteen and soon after she married Gerald O'Hara, an Irish immigrant. She was raised by Mammy along with her sisters Pauline and Eulalie. (as were her girls). She is thirty-two at the start of the novel. Ellen is born in around 1829 and died in 1864. In the 1939 film she is portrayed by Barbara O'Neil.
Relationships and family and love of PhillipeEdit
Ellen is nearly worshipped by Scarlett as being a perfect "lady" and an example of what Scarlett should become. Scarlett felt guilty about keeping things from Ellen and Ellen was disapointed in some of Scarlett's wild party behavior when she danced with Rhett while in mourning for Charles but was worried about Scarlett when Scarlett was suffering of heartbreak shortly after Scarlett gave birth to Wade and did the best she could to lesen the pain. Scarlett thinks that she will become like Ellen when she has time and throughout the novel wonders what Ellen would think of her. However, this dream of Scarlett's is never realized. Ellen's first and true love was her cousin Philippe Robbilard,but he died in a bar fight. Ellen married Gerald O'hara to distract herself from her grief over Phillipe's death which was her second choice because he father would not let her be a nun. Ellen maintines a mostly buisiness like relationship with Gerald despite the fact that they are married. However, Gerald has a big crush on Ellen and practically bursts with pride when he looks at her. Ellen loves all her daughters and was depressed when Scarlett couldn't leave Atlanta to see her. Ellen is close with her sisters Pauline and Eulalie,sending Scarlett to visit them shortly after Scarlett gave birth to Wade even though declaring she hated them along with her father Peirre hours after Philippe's death. Ellen has a supposedly strained relationship with her father Pierre because he did not approve of Philippe and declared she hated her father too soon after Philippe's death. Ellen has always been close to Mammy and has know Mammy since birth. Mammy has comforted Ellen when Ellen is depressed and helps her run the plantation. When Ellen was sick and dying Mammy was by her side the whole time and tended to her day after day. Mammy was by Ellen's side when she died and was heartbroken to hear Ellen calling for Philippe on her death bed. Mammy even says that after Bonnie's dath she should go home a " Miz Ellen" was telling her to. Ellen was not very close with other county members but was friends with Mrs. Elsing from Atlanta who knew Ellen from school and liked her very much.
Ellen's personality is described as being calm, kind and gracious with a meloncholy, sedate look making Scarlett doubt that she was ever giggly and excited as a young belle. Ellen is also described as never raising her voice to a servant but had an air that was always obeyed instantly. She is known to nurse the sourrounding families including Emmie Slattery despite the disapproval of Mammy and Gerald. She is the true runner of Tara but lets Gerald think he is. She is well thought of in the area surrounding Tara and in Savannah and Atlanta. Her hands are, according to Scarlett, always busy and her back never touches the chair. She spends much time in her office, dealing with the affairs of the plantation. It is also said that Ellen was always up during the night to make things better and that she always gets up gently in the middle of the night to tend to sick slaves and presided calmly at the breakfat table in the morning even after being up all night nursing. Ellen was very fashionable and was described as taking a while to dress for barbecues,balls or even court days and political speakings. Ellen never lost her Savannah formality calling Gerald " Mr. O'hara" and was very polite to the county neighbors. Ellen felt odd at the wild county behavior when she first moved from Savannah to Tara. Ellen is very beautiful and looks like both her parents.
1863-1864 Final Months Sickeness and DeathEdit
Ellen spent much of 1863 writing Scarlett to come home and was disapointed when Scarlett had to go back to Atlanta after more and more brief visits. Ellen was heartbroken when Scarlett canceled her plans to come visit the family at christmas because Ashley would be there. Scarlett and Ellen corresponded many times in 1864 because Scarlett wanted to go home but plans were postponed because Scarlett had to stay and nurse soldiers,Melaine was about to go in to labor and the railroads were blocked by the yankees. Ellen longed to see Scarlett and asked Gerald to write to Scarlett when Ellen was getting sick. Ellen was called to nurse Emmy Slattery in 1864 and came home giving the disease to Carreen. Later both Suellen and Carreen get sick and Ellen works tirelessly as ever to care for them, even stating to Mammy at one point that she'd sell her soul to get them a pack of ice. Later Ellen gets Typhoid as well and asks Gerald to write to Scarlett to cancel plans of coming home. In the midst of her sickness yankies come to Tare and recommend medicine but Gerald could not buy the medecine for Ellen, Suellen and Carreen. Ellen gets worse and worse,not even being able to hear the seige cannons ( Suellen and Carreen could) and finally died a day after the seige. Ellen dies of Typhoid near the end of the war, as Sherman's men come through the area destroying plantations. The Yankee army doctor tends to Suellen, Careen and her but is not able to save Ellen. Ellen's death is the end of Gerald as well. Ellen's sickness and death shocked Scarlett as well because Scarlett always said Ellen nursed sick people and never got sick and Scarlett expected to see Ellen in her office waiting for her on the day after Ellen's death. When Carreen recovered from Typhoid and Big Sam heard about Elle's death they were devastated as well. Ellen never lived to meet Ella and Bonnie. Ellen is the namesake of Scarlett's daughter Ella.
Barbara O'Neil was only four years older than screen-daughter, Vivien Leigh.