Essay on Lord Orville 's A True Gentleman

750 Words Apr 21st, 2016 3 Pages
Lord Orville proves himself to be the opposite of Sir Clement. However, although Orville has masculinity, he also possesses a feminine delicacy which makes a range of questions and responses to his breeding. His decline in actions calls into question his superiority as a true gentleman. Burney feminizes Lord Orville with traits such as sensitivity and compassion. These traits draw a contrast with Captain Mirvan’s masculinity. Captain Mirvan’s traits are excessive and over exaggerated with solid male qualities of being loud, impatient, and rough. These male traits are established by authority, such as hardiness and confidence. In contrast, softness and weakness that Orville obtain can lead to the loss of self-control. In this light, Orville’s conflicting behaviors contains both male politeness and feminine qualities. For example, he quickly becomes jealous once he discovers Evelina alone with Macartney in the garden and his manners evaporate. He falls silent, forces a smile upon his face, and responds coldly with “is it possible, Madam, you could suppose the affairs of an utter stranger can excite my curiosity?” (433). Orville’s cold behavior shows his rudeness and unreformed male manners. Orville knows the proper things to say and do, but his jealousy causes his effeminate slippage and takes over his mind, actions, and good breeding. “Orville’s inability to govern his passions by reason suggests he is slipping towards feminine irrationality” (433). His jealous reaction…

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