Barrett Browning and F Scott Fitzgerald Essays

Submitted By Janie-Asencio
Words: 992
Pages: 4

Composers reflect the changing attitudes, values and social mores of their respective contexts. The 1850 transitional Romantic poems, Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (EBB) and 1925-idealist American Dream novella The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, expose profound corrective social insights of the Victorian Era and 1920s America. Both composers reveal the development of female liberalism in their respective societies impact on the morality of individuals. Love is portrayed to be a transformative emotional journey challenging the idealism of love and a catalyst for wealth.

Both composers reflect the development of liberalism that impacted on attitudes to love. EBB challenged Victorian conservative values of women’s quality with her attainment of a woman restricted classical education, as revealed in Sonnet 1. EBB’s classical Greek allusion to Theocritus, ‘Theocritus had sung/ of the sweet years . . . ‘ suggests that every year of life brings new happiness with it, evoking the pastoral tradition from Sicily to enter the world that influenced the Romantics of Victorian poetry. This reveals EBB established a unique poetic style to accentuate a modern approach to Victorian literature. EBB’s context of her classical education challenged the Victorian’s unrealistic expectations and materialistic superficial value of love. Contrarily, Fitzgerald conveys the liberalism of social class mobility to be a constraint in a world fascinated by materialism and hedonism. Fitzgerald’s representation of Tom’s affair with Myrtle reveals the immoral veracity of liberalism of the 1920s, where lower classes could only advance through moral duplicity. The metaphoric dialogue of, ‘He was not fit to lick my shoe,’ articulates the influence of the upper class in redefining herself, suggesting love can improve an individual’s value and place within the social hierarchy. In emphasis, the costume characterisation of Tom contrasts ‘He had on a dress suit’ with ‘I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him.’ emphasises materialism and wealth overshadowing the true meaning of love, suggesting Myrtle’s character is a victim desperate in emulating the lifestyle of the rich and a liberated object of desire. Both composers represent liberalism with the progression of woman rights in their respective contexts by framing it through the ideals of love.

Both composers challenge the ongoing insincere qualities of love by presenting love to be a turbulent journey. EBB’s Petrarchan deconstructed sequence sonnet structure reflects the transitional relationship with Robert, emphasising the ecstatic feeling of unexpected love. Expressed in Sonnet 14, the repeated idea of love portrays a mood of acceptance with a sense of uncertainty. The imperative voice and listing of conventional attributes, ‘Do not say/ “I love her for her smile, her look’ articulates EBB’s perspective on conventional love to be fulfilled with superficial qualities that are subject to change, conveying EBB’s values on the love she aspires to attain. Contrastingly, Sonnet 22 conveys the acceptance of a spiritual passionate relationship. The tone is confident, revealing that love has changed EBB’s view on herself. The alliteration of ‘deep, dear silence’ highlights the delicate affectation and perfection of silence as a backdrop for a prospering love and realisation of true love. Contrastingly, Fitzgerald represents a journey of desired and false infatuated love with Gatsby’s unrequited ideal love for Daisy. Gatsby’s journey to receive the love he desires illustrates his confusion of love with material desires. The cosmological figurative imagery of ‘struck upon a star’ emphasises the unrealistic and intangible out of reach love between him and Daisy, reflecting the interplay of imagination and idealism on artificial love. The concerns of superficiality and one-sided love are presented as an emotional crusade where love changes the perceptions and values of individuals to