English gentleman

George Arents Collection, The New York Public Library. “A country gentleman, 1820.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-2e1a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

“‘My idea of a gentleman an English gentleman doesn’t have illegitimate children and if he doesn’t flaunt them” (64).

Upon Wendy Brandmark,  The Power of the Victim. A Study of Quartet, After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie and Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys represent a point that relates to the average English gentleman when  she said,

“Even in good times Rhys’s heroines spend most of their time sipping Pernods in cafes or lying in dingy hotel rooms brooding about past and present difficulties, fantasizing about beautiful clothes, food and lovers. They watch and judge but rarely engage with others. Appropriately in these novels about passivity, the plot is minimal; interior monologue substitutes for action” ( Brandmark 23)”

In this quote, it displayed the thought of how Jean Rhys heroines in her two novels “Voyage in the Dark” and “After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie” have the attention of waiting for their lovers to return to them. As I thought about this, my attention was that not only did Anna stayed with Walter because she loved him but it was because he was her provider as well. During the time when Walter took Anna on a together, he would always be the person who would play for the food, taxi, and another additional spending. This could have been the reason as to why Anna imagines her significant other to be an English gentleman rather than a man from the West Indies since they could provide to like her as much an  Englishmen. However, there is a downside of an English gentleman, at the time when Anna went out with Walter, Vincent, and Germaine, Germaine explains that the reasons for British women’s cruel behavior towards one another is because of the man. The men look for women that are young, beautiful, and dress lovely and because the British women strive to meet those goals of the man, they began to attack one another to redeem themselves as worth for a man. Even in the case when a man would be with a woman, he could quickly decide to not be with her anymore and look for someone else.

Brandmark, Wendy, :The Power of the Victim. A Study of Quartet, After Leaving Mr Mackenzie and Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys, Kunapipi, 8(2), 1986.