Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman talks about true feelings of a man, describes the stages that a man has to go through in order to be a true gentleman. It is the journey of the author writing the bottled-up feelings. Bottling up his emotions made him suffer a lot. Basically, the author exercises his right to freedom of speech. He addresses to his father, mother, his future wife, son and daughter to not make the mistakes he has committed.
He writes Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman to voice the other gentlemen out there who are not able to voice out their opinion. His silence finally had a voice. Expressing himself through words became an escape path from the harsh reality. He dedicates Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman to the men who have suffered the same fate as him or is going through a tough time. He also addresses the cruel society and the role it plays in one’s life.
Pierre Alex Jeanty divides Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman into twenty-five small chapters where each chapter has different forms of confessions. In some of the chapters, he writes against women because of the type of women he had to face. He had to face discrimination and was perhaps suppressed in his society which he mentions about it in some of the chapters. It seems women took advantage of his good and kind behaviour and misused him. After getting used to this several times, he sees the harsh reality of this world and slowly turns against women.
After he turns against women, he starts seeing women as sex-objects. This is the period in his life which seemed to be the hardest. But, as he gains maturity he slowly starts realizing the mistakes he has done. Jeanty realizes that there are certain people in our lives who should be an outcast from our lives. After Jeanty gains maturity, he stops living the artificial life, gives up all his sexual desires and starts to respect women. Jeanty seemed to have crossed a lot of difficult hurdles in his life and is finally free of all the manacles of segregation and chains of discrimination.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pierre Alex Jeanty was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and moved to the United States in early February 2000 with his mother with the belief that they will be able to live in a better society and get better opportunities. After he moved to the United States, he started learning English by watching English cartoons and attending ESOL classes in Florida which soon became the real hometown for him. He then attended Bowdoin College which was essential for him to get exposed to the real world. Going to college also helped him discover his passion for writing. It seems he could live up to his American Dream as after he moved to the States, he got fame after he started publishing his own books. His first book called ‘Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman’ was a national bestseller and helped him add coloured feathers on his hat. Critics say it was one of the best pieces of literature which were able to touch hearts of millions of men and women around the world. Today, he is happily settled in Florida with a family of his own. He is now the founder of Gentlemenhood, author and a social media influencer.
DEPICTION OF SOCIETAL STEREOTYPES IN THE TEXT
According to Mike Cardwell, a stereotype is ‘…a fixed, over-generalized belief about a particular group or class of people’.
The first chapter called ‘why’ describes the society which he lived in. He talks about how society can be a bad influence on an individual. Society idealizes men as being strong, violent who should not show weakness and women are the ones who should show weakness. Society made him believe in the fact that he should be heartless and should not be weak. This way he spent his childhood with a false confidence of masculinity. Society taught him to be manly and should not fear anyone. The irony is whenever he stood in front of the mirror he saw an imperfect, weak man who was vulnerable. After he matures he realizes all the fake judgements society made him believe and practice.
He also talks about the time when he falls in love with a white Hispanic girl which he considers as a mistake as he was supposed to fall in love with a Haitian girl of his own kind. But, the heart cannot be manipulated or forced to love someone. The family of the Hispanic girl believed that his skin was too dark to be welcomed into their family. They had this preconceived notion that black people are destined to go down a dark path. So, he considers falling in love with a white girl of the opposite race to be a mistake. These racist thoughts and concepts were able to manipulate the family of the Hispanic girl and cast away the author. The family had a stereotypical belief that black were the ones to go down and rot in the society.
UNSPOKEN FEELINGS OF A GENTLEMAN- BOOK REVIEW
After critically analyzing Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman it seemed sure that Pierre Alex Jeanty was a good man, with a kind and a lovable heart. The kind of women and society he had to face in his life changed his way of thinking. He started to idealize women as “sex-objects”. He started believing that women are meant for fun. So whenever, he saw vulnerable women he took advantage of them. The more women exposed their skin, the more greedy and lustful his heart grew. He believed that the more women exposed their skin the more they had lustful desires. After he gained maturity he started to repent his actions against women and stopped living his artificial life and started to respect women. He slowly understood women and saw that no matter how they dressed up, they had more self-respect and self-esteem than that of a man.
He writes an open letter to his father where he says that the reason he turned out to be a monster was that his father was never there to guide him. Society made him believe that it takes a man to grow a man. But, he later realizes that her mother single-handedly grew him up and made him live up to the American Dream.
PIERRE ALEX JEANTY’S AMERICAN DREAM
American Dream says that every man and woman regardless of the class or race they belong to living in America would be able to achieve their own desired level of success. Everyone was equal and was to be respected for their position. The American dream is achieved by hard work and taking risks in life. It offers the flexibility to make and small choices that influence one’s life; the freedom to try to greater and better things and the probability of accomplishing them; the flexibility to gather riches; the chance to have a honorable existence; and the opportunity to live as per one’s esteems, regardless of whether those qualities are not generally held or acknowledged.
The American Dream likewise offers the guarantee that the conditions of somebody’s introduction to the world – including whether they were conceived as American residents or settlers – don’t totally decide their future.
THE ROLE OF ‘MAN’ IN JEANTY’S LIFE
From the text, we get to know that Pierre had to grow up without his father. He mentions in Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman that “It takes a man to raise a man. The lack of a father’s presence is destroying some boys and has caused many men to take the poor routes they’ve taken- full of violence and bad choices. Absent fathers rob children of love, affection and support from a man.”
He says that men are not able to express their feelings to another man as it is considered to be too feminine. Instead, men are expected to be tough, not show any sort of tender love. This is what he gathered from observing the society as he was denied the love of a father. So, because of all these reasons Pierre got numb to the pain and got adjusted of showing no love.
After the death of his father, there was no one to guide him so he started to value life more rather than spend with women for meaningless sexual interaction. He started meeting a man with values; an old gentleman who later became his mentor who taught him life lessons and how to live life the right way and showed him the path towards true success. This is the way he moved towards his destined path. Later, he met a church’s associate pastor who became the perfect living example of how to live life. He struggled daily to live the holy life, maintain the piousness towards Jesus Christ. This taught him to be committed to the right woman and love her unconditionally. These men in his life filled in the missing void of his father. This makes us aware of the fact that a man can teach a lot to another man as he knows how to live life as a man.
From the chapter called ‘Dear Dad’ it is evident that it is very necessary for a father to play a role in a child and not abandon them like he was. The good qualities of a man can only be taught by another man with good qualities.
THE WOMEN WHO PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE
From the chapter called ‘To The Queen’ it is clear that his mother travelled to the U.S. to chase the American Dream so that she could provide for her family. She visited Pierre sometimes and left him under the care of her daughter. Pierre later realized the sacrifice her mother put up just to sustain them. He had not developed that level of understanding back in those days. Still, he needed his mother and father for his overall development as a child. But, it turns out Pierre had the best people around to shape him up as a gentleman and he is thankful to his mother for believing in him and being a fighter as she had to fight through breast cancer. Pierre did not get the true sense of love as his sister’s care was the only closest thing he had experienced.
COMPARISON BETWEEN THE MEN AND WOMEN INVOLVED IN JEANTY’S LIFE
Taking into consideration his early stages, it was clear that he never got the love and protection of his mother and father. So, the moral values given by parents were missing in his life. The church’s associate pastor and his mentor played a very crucial life in how to deal life. His mother visited him occasionally who was striving to live up to the American Dream while his sister took care of Jeanty. The caring love of a mother was missing.
According to me, his sister also played an important role in his life as she was the only family that he had twenty-four seven. Of course, the values taught by the church’s associate pastor and his mentor was golden but the continuous support of his sister was also necessary. If he did not have his sister to take care of him then maybe he would have never encountered these men in his life. Jeanty may focus on the fact that these men were crucial in his life, I feel his sister had the overall care and nurturing of him. Although, it depended on Jeanty on whom he considered more important in his life. According to Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman, men had a crucial role in shaping up his personality, morals and behaviour. However, later in his life uncivilized women ruined his way of thinking and changed his personality as he was on his own then which made him a person having low self-esteem and disvalued women in his life as he did not have any close family member to confide in his feelings.
Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman has taught me a lot of life lessons and has managed to give a voice to the pure feelings of a man. It tells us that behind every arrogant, rude and unpleasant human out there have an unfortunate past which makes them behave in such ways in the public. Yes, Pierre does forgive every person he encounters which teaches us the lesson of forgiveness and truth. I believe he wrote Unspoken Feelings of a Gentleman just to attain mindfulness and peace in his mind which is really important to move forward in life by confiding to every mistake, every person he faced and an assumption how he would nurture his own children and wife after he gets married.
He continuously hints us not to give up and addresses his readers as strong, good men and women. Taking wrong decisions in life is what makes us wise. If people have the past image of you being negative then we should remove those people from our lives. It is their problem, not ours. We should appreciate and feel proud of ourselves after we accomplish a task. In this way, we can be a better human being and get the motivation to do another task thus being an ideal gentleman and gentlewoman.
Jeanty, P. (2014). Unspoken Feelings Of A Gentleman. Florida: Jeanius Publishing LLC.
Cardwell, M. (1996). Dictionary of Psychology. 1st ed. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.
Jeanty, P. (2013). “My Bio” Pierre Alex Jeanty, Jeanius Publishing LLC
Abrams, M.H.(2001). A Glossary of Literary Terms. 11th ed. 1941. New Delhi: Harcourt India