Similarities Between Elizabeth Barrett Browning And The Great Gatsby

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning and F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in different eras, so by comparing the perspectives they convey in their texts we are able to evaluate how humanities values and beliefs have transformed over time. Furthermore, we can recognize the influence they have on the outlook of modern day values. ‘Sonnets of the Portuguese’ is a suite of poems written by Barrett-Browning during the Victorian Era, and establishes the importance of morality and religion in the expression of idealised courtly love and the Sublime. Throughout the sonnets we can observe how Barrett-Browning’s attitudes about love have developed from uncertainty to acceptance. Comparatively, the novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Fitzgerald explores notions of idealised love,…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ he both examines and criticizes the Jazz Age - a period after the Great War of great prosperity and chaotic liberation before the stock market crash that caused the Great Depression. The zeitgeist novel is told through the character Nick, allowing us a first-person perspective of this society. At first glance it appears glamorous as Nick describes Gatsby’s superfluously extravagant mansion and the ‘consoling proximity of millionaires’, however, this is done in a satirical tone that exposes Fitzgerald’s true feelings on the importance placed upon wealth that have replaced the importance of morality. The degradation of morality seen here is in reverse to what was seen in the Victorian Era. Women’s role in society had also adapted from Barret-Browning’s time, as they are seen partying, drinking and smoking alongside the men. However, when Fitzgerald first introduces Daisy and Jordan in the novel, he describes “the only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon”, which creates a sense of insignificance and airiness. The women are not important enough to distinct from one another whereas later in the paragraph Tom Buchannan’s arrival is announced with the use of his full name. In fact, despite having independence, woman have almost subverted back to the original patriarchal attitudes that were seen before the Victorian Era, relying on men to get them out of trouble, which is seen in Jordan’s attitudes, “I hate careless people. That’s why I like you.” Through these descriptions, Fitzgerald conveys the women as reliant yet deceptive of men, painting an overall negative image of women during the time. Fitzgerald has used the form of a satirical novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’, to expose the folly of his generation, and express his wishes for a more moral, upright society without the greed and deception that ran rampant during the

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