‘The Great Gatsby’ And The Rise Of The Gentleman

‘The Great Gatsby’ And The Rise Of The Gentleman
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Recently, I was able to find the time to watch “The Great Gatsby,” as I know I am 1,000 years late on this one, I had to make sure to catch this one before it was out of the theaters. Given that when I was supposed to read this book back in High School, I used Sparknotes and copied my assignments off other students, the story of “The Great Gatsby” was rather new to me — and exciting to say the least, especially with the legend Leonardo DiCaprio playing the eponymous role.

Needless to say, I was blown away by the movie and by how much of a gentleman Jay Gatsby actually was. This man wasn’t just a gentleman, but a legend; he was a real man, something that doesn’t really exist anymore in today’s world. He embodied every aspect a man should display and has done it to perfection, without a flaw. This of course had me wondering, what in the world happened to the real men of this day and age? Why have men, for lack of a better word, turned into bitches rather than being a perfect version of themselves just like Jay Gatsby?

Growing up, I was raised mostly by my grandparents. My grandpa is a bit old fashioned and still is to this day. One of the things that he stressed to me growing up was that I needed to man up and that meant being a gentleman. I used to get scolded for having my shirt wrinkled, if my belt were missing from my pants or if I was not being responsible, which included things like not cleaning up my plate after dinner. To me back then, being a gentleman was not of much interest because I was too young to truly understand what it really meant, the values that it came with and that it was a necessary aspect of being a real man.

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Thanks to his constant pressure to be a gentleman (which embodied of course different aspects of life: from work, to women, to how clean you kept your car), I was able to become some sort of a gentleman and a man with ethics and values. I’m no Jay Gatsby, but do I want to be just like him? Obviously.

The man stands for everything a man should stand for: he fought in the war, he changed his fortunes, becoming wildly rich, he lived the life of luxury, he had class and he put it all on the line for a girl that he was madly in love with. Seeing Jay Gatsby get shot in the end and fall into the pool signified to me that the age of the gentleman was going down with him. It wasn’t Jay dying, it was the true gentleman becoming extinct, that was the metaphor that I took away from it, and to be honest, it was quite saddening.

When I look around to men nowadays, they aren’t really men anymore, they don’t have the same values of a man that our ancestors had. They don’t have the morals, the ethics and the ability to even be called a gentleman. Men have become creatures that are all the same with a small group of those who are actually striving to be the men that this generation will be proud of, not the frat bros butt-chugging wine to get drunk faster (Good job, Tennessee).

As said before a gentleman embodies being a complete man with a lot of different attributes and characteristics that fit in perfectly to create one man, a legendary man to say the least. But in this article, I want to discuss one aspect of the gentleman that has completely been wiped away from our society and that is the way we as men have succumbed to treating women. I was blown away, almost touched, by the way Jay Gatsby was madly in love with Daisy. The man sacrificed his whole life just for one woman that he loved and he refused to love any other.

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He built a huge house just for her, as he couldn’t wait to see the day she would walk in there and light up the house with her beautiful smile. He threw his big parties in hopes of her walking in one day, so that he could sweep her off her feet. After the war, he knew he couldn’t provide for her, so he asked her to wait in his letters, so that he could take the next 5 years to work his ass off, so that he might be the ideal man she could always count on. The man loved this girl, treated her with respect and would have done anything for her.

The way he would look at her, the way he would kiss her and the way he would be so nervous when he would see her that he would make sure everything was perfect, showed the one aspect of his gentlemanly figure, and that is the way men are supposed to love a female. See Gatsby and his love for Daisy made me realize that men don’t treat women like this anymore; they actually treat women like Tom Buchanan treated her, who despite being her husband, cheated on her constantly.

Men are supposed to treat women the way Jay Gatsby treated Daisy; yet, that treatment of women has disappeared. We have all become senseless assh*les, treating them with the least amount of respect, just so that we can get what we want from them and that is simply sex. Actually loving a girl and being with her, as well as protecting her, has been something that is forgotten. Sure you can blame this on women and for what they have turned into, which isn’t anything near perfect — but as men, we need to be better than that, we need to go back to being the gentlemen that men once were decades ago and it starts with having respect for women.

It took me a while to realize that and it actually happened recently with a girl that I enjoy being around, even though we have gone our separate ways. We were casually having a drink at my apartment after dinner, and after not seeing her for 6 months because of a few differences, of course the only thing I wanted to do was to have sex and to use her for that — and that’s why I invited her over. A few drinks in and making some moves, she actually told me something that made me think, she looked at me and said that by doing this and by just wanting sex from her that I was just like every other guy she knows and I’m not really offering anything different.

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I am not usually dumbfounded and usually have a rebuttal to everything that is thrown at me, but at this very moment I stuttered for the third time in my life because I really couldn’t tell her anything that would argue her point, because at that very moment, I felt like every other scumbag guy that is out there, just using women for sex and womanizing them.

There is nothing more I hate than being just like everyone else, all my life I purposely tried to be different and to think outside the box, but at that very moment she was right, I was just like every other guy because I was just looking for what everyone else was looking for without wanting much. Sure we all laugh at the fact that women wait for their prince charming to fall out of the sky and the reason we find it so funny is because men of this day and age are incapable of being that prince charming.

I once heard a girl tell me that she is afraid that she already met the man of her dreams, but told him to f*ck off. And that’s because all of us men have been bunched into one category, simply the pigs that we are. Granted women aren’t any better with their actions, but there has to be an outlier and there has to be something more.

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What we men need to do is start acting like real men and actually start valuing women as what they are really worth to us. Treating them with respect and care and being their Great Gatsby because that is what being a gentleman is all about. The last thing we want is to all be bunched up into one category.

Sure women could potentially screw us over if we expose ourselves too much, but it’s all about perception and how we see it. If they are dumb enough to let a good guy go, then they deserve to be with a guy that is just like everyone else, but if they are lucky enough to meet someone different, then their faith of a real man still existing is possible.

Photos via Tumblr and Great Gatsby 

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Preston Waters

Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

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