Donne's Poetry and Great Gatsby Comparative essay

Essay by gdelamotteHigh School, 11th grade August 2014

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Genevieve de la Motte

Donne and Fitzgerald offer markedly different perspectives on love. What are the perspectives of each and how effectively is the viewpoint of each conveyed?

As in John Donne's poem A valediction forbidding mourning, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, distinctly different perspectives on love can be identified from different Authors. It becomes apparent throughout these two texts that the composers are considering and communicating their own perspectives on love. Both texts consider the love between two people - both requited and unrequited. A valediction forbidding mourning conveys the writer's ardent viewpoint that love is driven by ones spirituality - In the Great Gatsby however, Fitzgerald determines to describe love as only the physical, easily corrupted and materialistic love of upper class Long Island in the roaring twenties. His viewpoint is the destructive nature of love, explored by the behaviour of shallow and conceited characters.

Both texts utilise a diversity of structural and literary techniques to communicate to the audience their perspective on love.

In A valediction forbidding mourning Donne uses his profound metaphysical knowledge to explore and compare the relationship between death and parting from a lover. In the first stanza of A valediction forbidding mourning, Donne's exhibits conceit in the fanciful metaphor of a dying old man. The use of the words 'virtuous', 'pass', 'mildly' and 'whisper' in the first two lines connote to a peaceful image of the man's deathbed. The use of onomatopoeia in the 'wh' of whisper, as well as the long vowel sounds in the words further enhance the image of peace, all the while keeping the same iambic tetrameter form of the poem. The next two lines go on to explain just how peacefully the man does pass in the end, in the lines 'Whilst some of...