Comparison of Great Gatsby and Sonnets from the Portuguese

1398 words 6 pages
How does the treatment of similar content in The Great Gatsby and the prescribed poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning reflect changing values and perspectives?

Throughout different time periods in history, perspectives change. With changing perspectives, artists and authors convey their feelings for particular social issues in varying ways through their texts. As the prescribed text, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and the prescribed sonnets from “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning show, we can see the changes in perspective from the Victorian Era, compared to that of the Post-WWI period, the roaring 20’s. A comparison of these texts lets us see a change in society’s view on love, the role of women in
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This was a time where women began taking control of their own bodies and started to become sexually free or liberated. Women still wanted to marry and there was a strong belief that women wanted to clean, cook, look after children and improve family circumstance, leaving many women feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.

Another perspective which has changed is the view on relationships. We see that in EBB’s “SftP”, relationships are based more on gender. By writing a sonnet, EBB goes against the social norm, as it was males that were predominantly the authors of sonnets. In addition, the social expectations of a relationship at that time meant that Robert + EBB had to go through the properly defined stages of a relationship which were friendship, courtship, relationship before it being socially accepted to pursue a romantic relationship. We can see in EBB’s poem that Robert “_wished to have me [her] in his sight”_ and follow these stages of a relationship.

In contrast to this, the newer perspective of relationship was more based on economic status in society. Fitzgerald highlights the separation of the “old money” and “new money” through juxtaposition of the East Egg and the West Egg. We can see how the two eggs are separated both physically and economically when Nick describes to us in the opening