Comparison of Great Gatsby and Sonnets from the Portuguese Essay

1420 Words Mar 29th, 2010 6 Pages
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
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We see how she requires more than to be loved as merely a possession to her husband, Robert Browning, but for him to “…love on through love’s eternity”.

On the other hand, in FSFs “GG”, love has a different, more materialistic meainig. As the American Dream was based largely around money and other materialistic possessions, its influence was spread into many aspects of society including a persons’ love for another. Love may have been based around ones wealth. We can see that in “GG”, Daisy’s ‘love’ for Gatsby is driven by materialistic items as shown by Daisy in “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before”.

Another reflection of changing values in society is marriage. EBB wrote during a time where once a woman became married to a man, she then became his property. Women could not manage their own sexual activity, and were defenceless against physical abuse inflicted by the man. We can see in Sonnet I how ‘a voice said in mastery while I strove, ‘Guess now who holds the!’ ‘Death’, I said…’Not death but loves’, allowing us to interpret this in many ways. Personally, I interpreted this second person speaking as Robert Browning, her husband, speaking of being her ‘master’ and also Browning’s feelings of hate or ‘deathly feelings’ of this, but it also shows how Robert Browning will also lover her for
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