Texts in Time

Compare how these texts explore dreams and the world.

The two texts Elizabeth Browning’s poetry and ‘The Great Gatsby’ explore dreams and the world through the themes: idealized love, the American dream and hope. Contrast is seen in these two texts as ‘The Great Gatsby’ shows the corruption and wreckage of broken dreams while Browning explores a love so pure and perfect it sustains her every need and dreams.

‘The Great Gatsby’ shows the theme of idealized love through the main character Jay Gatsby. He presents a pure and deeply emotional love for Daisy and dreams about being with her. This love is what motivates Gatsby’s very actions and character. Gatsby created an identity cased on lies hoping that this will win the affections of Daisy. Through the use of first person Nick says “He quickly said educated at Oxford…or chocked on it like it had bothered him before.” His love for Daisy is symbolized through the green light at the end of his pier. This green light shows Gatsby that his dreams are being with Daisy are within reach presenting hope for not only Gatsby but for the world, so transfixed on the American dream of wealth and social status. Gatsby’s pure dream is juxtaposed to the corruption and decay of dreams focused on materialism.

Sonnet I by Browning presents her dreams of escaping from the world of “The Sweet sad years, the melancholy years” of her past. She finds her escape through love, a love that is pure and perfect. Through the use of imagery this love is expressed as “a mythic shape” using symbolism to describe that it was sudden and unchangeable. Through the use of metaphor Browning emphasises the darkness and sadness of her past life. “…who by turns had flung a shadow across me” a shadow of melancholy. The climax of the sonnet is the last lines where the change in tone suggests hope. ‘Guess now who holds thee? ‘Death’ I said. But there the silver answer rang, ‘Dot Death, but Love.’ This metaphor then emphasises the sudden change to her...