The definition of a gentleman in our modern times is debatable. Every person has their own perception of what a gentleman means. Common terms are polite, chivalrous, loving, compassionate, and if the gentleman is a Disney prince, he has to be handsome.
In “Gone With the Wind” Margaret Mitchell discusses the concept of a gentleman. She uses her bevvy of colorful characters to convey the various qualities of chivalry. Is Scarlett O’Hara’s first husband, Charles Hamilton, more of a gentleman because he died in the Civil War than Rhett Butler – the nefarious, swarthy rogue who captured Scarlett’s heart?
Ultimately, Mitchell convey’s her definition of a gentleman through Scarlett’s Father, Gerald O’Hara:
“A lack of the niceties of classical education carried no shame, provided a man was smart in the things that mattered. And raising good cotton, riding well, shooting straight, dancing lightly, squiring the ladies with elegance and carrying one’s liquor like a gentleman were the things that mattered.”
Remember, guys and gals, about the virtues gentlemen of the Old South used to uphold. All it takes is having a green thumb, riding horses, accurately firing a gun, be a good dancer, an even better date, and always keeping cool at a party. Hope everyone has a day filled with gentility.