Comparison Between the Great Gatsby and Ebb Sonnets

Topics: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Love, Sonnets from the Portuguese Pages: 3 (1075 words) Published: September 18, 2010
‘A deeper understanding of aspirations and identity emerges from considering the parallels between the Great Gatsby and Browning’s poetry’. Compare how these texts explore aspirations and identity?

Both the texts ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F.Scott Fitzgerald and ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning explore the ideas of aspirations and identity developing a deeper understanding of the texts. Both texts share these ideas through the characters and the values of idealism and hope, and personal voice and identity. Although the two texts are separated in time and context, they both reflect the world of the text and composer.

‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ was written during the 19th Century in the period known as the Victorian era. This was a period where the role of women was very limited and their position was within the home. This era is commonly associated with a society that was staid and conservative. The sequence appropriates the male voice and shifts it to a feminine voice, communicating the love story between Elizabeth and Robert Browning. The poems are intensely personal, exploring the power of love, the absence of love and making sense of the turbulent emotions involved with love.

Browning's sonnets emphasize a type of idealized love, one that she hopes and dreams of. A love that is not ordinary, that is not based on physical appearance or on a feeling of pity or concern but for “loves sake only…… through loves eternity” (Sonnet 14). This personified statement of which she repeats continually throughout the sonnet emphasizes her demands which seem extremely idealistic and hard to meet. The sonnets explore the idea that she has never experienced love, and has only read about it, hence the discussion of Theocritus and “the antique tongue” in Sonnet 1, specifically love in its idealistic and dreamt state. This demonstrates how this text explores the idea of aspirations.

Browning continues through her sonnets to attempt to explain...
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