Comparison of Great Gatsby and Sonnets from the Portuguese

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How does the treatment of similar content in The Great Gatsby and the prescribed poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning reflect changing values and perspectives?

Throughout different time periods in history, perspectives change. With changing perspectives, artists and authors convey their feelings for particular social issues in varying ways through their texts. As the prescribed text, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the prescribed sonnets from “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning show, we can see the changes in perspective from the Victorian Era, compared to that of the Post-WWI period, the roaring 20’s. A comparison of these texts lets us see a change in society’s view on love, the role of women in marriage, relationships, goals and ambitions (hope) and life’s meaning (morality) and also the impact of gender differences on the perspectives conveyed.

“SftP” is a series of sonnets written during the Victorian Era in the 1850s, that expressed her love and feelings for her husband, following their relationship as it developed. This was a period where women were seen as pure and clean and their bodies as temples which were not to be ‘decorated’ with jewelry or used for pleasurable sex. Their major role in the household was to have children and maintain the household and were also seen as the property of men.

In contrast, “GG” is a story of Jay Gatsby, a lieutenant in WWI, and his fulfilment of a dream. Set in the 1920s during the roaring 20s in America, Gatsby’s closely follows that of the American Dream. This period, dubbed by F. Scott Fitzgerald as the ‘Jazz Age’, was a period of great social change. Women began their rebellion against the idea of being a ‘possession’ to their husband. People had begun working hard to pursue their goals but others, such as Jay Gatsby, became involved with shady characters such as Meyer Wolfshiem.

Therefore, as times change, we can see that views and perspectives will inevitably...
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