Great Gatsby and Elizabeth Barrett Browining

Topics: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Love, F. Scott Fitzgerald Pages: 3 (1285 words) Published: July 15, 2010
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald and Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning are influenced by their varying context in their portrayal of love in their respective texts. Both authors explore the concept of love using various language features such as metaphors the use of irony. The Great Gatsby explores how the desire for the American Dream has taken prevalence over romantic love during post world war 1. This is contrasted with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese where we are able to visualise her passion towards her lover through linguistic construct and also through the construction of an intimate sonnet. The Great Gatsby is set in what is commonly known as “The Roaring Twenties” or “The Jazz Age.” Given the 20s was about opulence, the nihilist attitude is reflected in romantic needs. Fitzgerald dismisses the idea of idealised love and refers to America’s love with the American Dream. Post World War 1 was a period of hedonism that reflected people’s determination to forget the sufferings and loss of the war. It was also a time of moral confusion. There was a mood of superficial optimism as people tried to hide their disillusionment. Fitzgerald explores the difficulty of individuals maintaining moral integrity in a material society that values wealth above all others. It was a time where there was great importance placed on what people had and not what people were. Fitzgerald’s use of Nick as the unreliable narrator is meant to represent cultural mores of the 20s. He represents the voice, failings and cynicism of the time and acts as a filter through which ideas and characters are reflected and mediated. We gain a pessimistic and fragmented insight into the tragic love story of the novel. The fragmentation and complex structure of the novel builds up Gatsby as the paragon of the Jazz Age and epitome of the American Dream. Ultimately, someone who represents the 20s cannot gain true love in the face of Tom’s wealth...
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