Outline of Forth, Chap 2: "Balancing Acts: The Paradox of the Gentleman"
Gentlemanly ideal is somewhat contradictory, and impossible for one man to achieve.
I. Paradox is that manners could both make or unmake the man.
A. The trick was to make grace and manners appear "natural"
1. Idea of correlation of inner reality with external appearances.
Performance should not be a performance.
2. Exterior was a transparent window into the soul.
3. idea of sensibility: true and natural quality innate in superior classes:
Emotion as well as restraint.
B. problem of balance
1. evangelical idea of manliness as a man of both feeling and intellect.
2. How much weeping and expression of emotion?
3. guarding against habits of effeminacy.
II. Consumption and Clothing
A. clothing helped complete the civilized man, threatened to supplant manhood by offering
the appearance of well-built body instead of vigor itself.
1. Worry about surface and authenticity reflects modern society's ongoing focus on the
"natural" body as the location of emotional and psychological depth, as well as muscular vigor.
2. Flčgel's theory of the "great masculine renunciation," when men after 1800 ditched the wigs and wore
all-black clothing. It was a rejection of refinement
3. irony was that this anti-aesthetic was an aesthetic [or this "anti-show" was itself a show]
B. paradox of luxury --self-restraint vs. indulgence-- one must have both to be a gentleman
1. Captain Rigby, fop who was corrupted sexually by excessive luxury consumption.
a. this is a reverse of today's idea sodomy was effect rather than cause of effeminacy
2. American colonists criticism of British as overly refined and luxurious
3. "Bohemian resistance": aristocracy of taste
III. Men Behaving Badly
A. Tilting pose in portraits
1. suggests rebellion against rigid gentility
B. Male retreats for emotional expression.
1. away from home and women
2. Freemasonry as appropriation of language of muscularity and work of artisans for
middle-men who did not work with their hands--"muscularity without muscles"
3. Freemasons crafted respectable gentlemen from men of middle ranks.
--struck a balance of control and release
--both comfort and self-control
C. Drinking, slumming and prostitution
1. unmanly to lose control, but heavy drinking did not make someone effeminate
2. test oneself by penetrating the dark jungle of city
D. periodic deviation from manners and respectability was no necessary departure from masculinity.