COMPARATIVE ESSAY OF TEXTS AND CONTEXT
In the Great Gatsby, we see how the past can greatly affect our choices in the future. Through the character of Gatsby, we see a man that is driven by his desire to relive his past. With the hypophora, ‘Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.’ He uses this as a driving force for everything he does and this is rekindling his love with Daisy. He loses so much more than he hoped to attain by fighting for this object he sought. He believes by attaining her love he will break the shackles of his impoverished past and move up the social hierarchy. James Gatz reinvents himself in a façade persona per the “measure of response it drew from her well-loved eyes.” With the metaphorical ending, “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne ceaselessly back into the past,” Nick shows the paralysis of basing future hopes and ambitions on the events of the past. Additionally, it shows that is it is human condition to aspire to achieve hopes and dreams that seem out of our reach.
Unlike Gatsby, Elizabeth Barrett Browning transcends the horrors of her past and finds a new life in the present. With the allusion to Theocritus, in sonnet I, she relates his poems to her own former struggles. Barrett Browning, she shows the restraints of human emotions in the Victorian era. With the progression of her sonnets, varying from different tones including irony and romanticism, the growth is exemplified as she now familiarises herself with love and its power to heal the wounds acquired in the past. She portrays how she has come to terms with the perspective of love and its impact on her life. Her rebirth has allowed her to see things clearly as compared to the ‘gradual vision through my tears.’
In both texts the influence has on the present is explored thoroughly. Fitzgerald shows his perspective through a man that built his present on his blinding desire to relive the past. However, EBB embodies the power of transcending the past.
F.S Fitzgerald shows the superficiality of human relationships and interactions in this Jazz age. The connections do not go further than the mortal world. The society Gatsby cared to have a high social class in only cared about the things that bothered them. This is portrayed through the lavish parties he throws and yet none of the guests knew anything about him. They would come up with rumours to give an identity to this mysterious figure. All these ties are broken with his sudden death. Even with his parties, no one wanted to attend his funeral. His most trusted ‘friend’ Meyer Wolfshiem, is unavailable when Nick tries to contact him. His death does not have an impact on the society and his life does not transcend into the afterlife. All connections and infatuations are eradicated by death.
Barrett Browning shows her perspective of the ability of love has to transcend the physical. She defines love as a spiritual and mutual connection between two people. She puts out a deathless ideal about love and how it does not limit our capacity to love. With the imagery of silence, she hopes to show the bond that can be created through silence. ‘Let the silence of my womanhood/ Commend my woman love to thy belief,’ the enjambment and punctuation shows the perspective of silent love. Barrett Browning portrays her perspective on the ability love has on human connections and its authenticity and how it replaces the connections fuelled by materialistic desires in the Jazz Age.
Paragraph: Transformative power of love
Both texts explore the perspective of love as an important component of humanity, a driving force of transformation and the spiritual purpose of life. However, they differ in the sense that Gatsby has an unattainable and physical love while Barrett Browning highlights the persona’s strong commitment to love that is not bound by the restraints of death. Thus, a change of context shapes the perspective in which love has influenced the composition of both Barrett Browning and Fitzgerald.
THE GREAT GATSBY
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imagery SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE
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