Seriously, if you have watched the movie all your life as I have and had questions about the characters, it's all quite clear in the book. If you think you might want to get around to the book someday and don't want it ruined for you, don't read here. I could never figure out why Scarlett was so enamored of Ashley, or why Ashley led her on so. Duh! Ashley is gay. Scarlett's father tells her so right at the beginning of the book in so many words, but Scarlett is only 16 and can't figure out what he's saying. Ashley knows that Scarlett is too brash to keep his secret, and Melanie starts out as frail and not supposed to have children so Ashley figures that she'll understand his refusal to touch her or that she'll die in childbirth but she'd never blab and make a fuss like Scarlett would after she figured it out. Scarlett loves Ashley because he's a dandy. She likes pretty things and feels entitled to all pretty things. Pretty clothes, pretty horses, pretty faces. Geez, does that explain a lot! I could never figure out why Ashley seems so boring. It's because they couldn't just come out with "he's gay", so they had to make him the least sexually appealing character in the history of movies, and why would Scarlett want him? Because she's a little girl who hasn't a clue.