Our interest in the parallels between the great Gatsby and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry is further enhanced by consideration of their marked differences in textual form- Evaluate this statement in light of your comparative study of texts-
Context and textual form have played a significant role in determining the parallels between ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Sonnets of the Portuguese’, through the use of language and expression appropriate to the time. The Great Gatsby (TGG) was developed in the jazz age in the 1920’s during a time of unrestrained desire for money and wealth, which led to decayed social and moral values through an empty pursuit for pleasure. This was a time for loud music, wild parties and is part of the ‘American dream’, which Fitzgerald describes as hollow and spiritless. The sonnets of the Portuguese however, were created during the Victorian Era in the 1850’s, which was seen as a time for peace and prosperity.
The textual form of these texts is reflective of the time period they belong to. This is particularly exemplified in the TGG as it is a novel, which demonstrates the partying and recklessness of the Jazz age through characters such as Daisy, Tom and Gatsby, and the lack of importance placed on the meaning of love. EBB’s sonnets however, reflect societies views through formal language and the strength and passion that is associated with love.
EBB opens the sonnet sequence by placing herself in the tradition of pastoral love poetry. She enters this tradition to write her own story, which begins as, ‘the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years’. This however is transformed in the second quatrain when they become ‘the sad years, the melancholy years’. This first sonnet recounts the moment the speaker is overcome by love. This strong love that is portrayed and physically and emotionally sought after throughout the sonnets contrasts the aspects of love that is demonstrated in TGG. In chapter two, the valley of the ashes is...
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