Unconditional Love In The Great Gatsby And The First Seven Years

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Literature often illuminates the shared aspects of human nature. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, explains, “That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” Both Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path” and Bernard Malamud’s “The First Seven Years” illustrate the importance of unconditional love to humanity. These short stories describe an important conclusion about human nature: unconditional love can provide the strength necessary to persevere.
“A Worn Path” tells the story of an old African-American woman, Phoenix Jackson, who routinely makes a long and difficult journey to get medicine for her grandson. Despite the many obstacles she encounters, she forges her way to the hospital with determination. Phoenix speaks to herself; “Out of my way, all you foxes, owls, beetles, jack rabbits, coons and wild animals! … Keep out from under these feet, little bob-whites … Keep the big wild hogs out of my path. Don't let none of those come running my
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Phoenix’s determination to walk the long and dangerous “worn path” demonstrates her powerful love for her grandson. Likewise, Feld’s persistence to obtain a worthy suitor for Miriam reflects this same unconditional love. Moreover, Sobel’s love for Miriam allows him to bear the tedious labor of working for Feld for many years. These two short stories reveal that love can give a person the strength that can enable him or her to continue through hardship and difficulty. “A Worn Path” and “The First Seven Years” are excellent examples of how literature can allow a reader to recognize that his or her tendencies are both natural and universal. The behavior of characters like Phoenix, Feld, and Sobel mirror our own behavior, giving readers an opportunity to discover underlying motivations in our human

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