Superficial Love In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (TGG) released in 1925, during the Jazz Age, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets From The Portuguese (STFP) published in 1850 during the Victorian Age are reflective of the authors context and era. They explore the changing nature of relationships through the exploration of superficial love and how mutual love and respect unite people. Both authors discuss the importance of honesty and respect in relationships for them to thrive.

The exploration of superficial love is a key idea in TGG and Barrett Browning’s suite of sonnets, SFTP, written to her lover Robert Browning. Superficial love is a concept that Barrett Browning embeds in her sonnets as she wants to conquer superficiality so the eternity of her love with Browning will
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She highlights the importance of true love compared to superficial love, and wants reassurance that her love with Browning is genuine, not based on physicalities. This is explored in sonnet XXI, “say thou dost love me, love me, love me” the imperative tone highlights that Barrett Browning knows exactly what she wants from Browning and isn’t willing to sacrifice her self-respect by loving someone whose feelings aren’t mutual. Barrett Browning wants to feel security in her potential relationship with Browning, as with her religion, their souls will be bound together in the afterlife. “To love me also in silence with thy soul.” The sibilant ‘s’ sound emphasises the connection between the words which counters the idea of superficial love. “Soul” is a biblical allusion to the eternity of their life and love. Sonnet XXI explores the changing nature of
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