Idealised love hope and mortality in 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Sonnets from the Portuguese'

Essay by emmlaaHigh School, 12th gradeA+, April 2009

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Elizabeth Barret-Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' and F. Scott. Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' both reflect, in abstract style and varying contexts and elements, the experience of idealised love, hope and mortality. The elements employed by Barret-Browning and Fitzgerald, differ in their depictions of these themes through various literary devices, two of which are 'points of view' and 'motifs/symbols'. Barret-Browning's sonnet sequence illustrates a complex evolution of emotions as the poet moves through sorrow, self doubt, passion, fear, and ultimately profound exhilaration and joy, even in spite of the restlessly lingering thoughts of her own death, whereas, 'The Great Gatsby' follows the tale of young Nick Carraway, a seemingly pure man from the West, who decides to journey to New York to make his money in the stocks and bonds market. In New York, he is met with a story of love, lust, adultery and murder; it is a telling of the death of the American Dream, and the downfall of those who attempt to reach its illusory goals.

'The Great Gatsby' is a novel that takes place during the roaring twenties, or an era otherwise known as the Jazz Age. A time of prohibition and experimentation, the novel portrays both the chaos and loss of morals that many during that time experienced. In 'The Great Gatsby' Fitzgerald opted for a complex structure and a controlled narrative point of view, thus giving the novel a greater air of realism, written in a limited first person perspective, with Nick Carraway serving as the narrator and the only true voice. This deliberate inclusion forces the reader to experience the events in the novel, first hand, in addition to this, Nick is careful not to tell the reader things he himself does not know, this is one of the reasons that the novel...