Love, hope and morality are ongoing and developing universal concepts that have the ability to imprison or liberate individuals. The interpretation and perceived value of experience of these concepts is dependent on the values and events of the time. Without a greater knowledge of the past, present and wider world, we often accept the two dimensional thoughts and perspectives of the time we inhabit. We can only fully reveal the value of experiences by comparing their differences. ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning are a series of Petrarchan sonnets conveying love hope and morality. Composed in 1845 to 1846 England and published in 1850, the contextual integrity of the sonnets reflect the traditional values of courtly love at the time but also societal change and the modernisation that the industrial revolution brought with it. This was the time of the Victorian era, a time of ongoing societal evolution. Published in 1925 American, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ is set in 1922, a time period commonly referred to as the ‘the Roaring twenties’ or the ‘jazz age’. This period in American history reflects the extremities of both romanticism and materialism, as well as a time of prosperity and the classic ‘American dream’ due to the conclusion of world war one. Love, hope and morality are reflected through the naivety of the time. Although a time of great societal change, 1840’s England still held traditional values that are often associated with this period as being prudish, old fashioned and repressed. Elizabeth Barrett Browning pushed the boundaries of her time as it was previously unheard of that females would write about idealised love. With the increase of feminism Barrett Browning gained her popularity. The sonnets show her journey of accepting the love she has received. She states in sonnet thirteen “I cannot teach my hand to hold my spirits so far from myself—me-- that I should bring the proof of...
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