Compare And Contrast Keats In The Great Gatsby

Amazing Essays
Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a novel with adverse themes, transitioning between those of decadence, idealism, social upheaval, illusion and identity; all of which exemplify the falsehood of the American Dream. Such themes contrast and are also similar to poems written by John Keats, such as ‘Ode on Melancholy’ and ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. Both writers consolidate these themes in various manners, which are open for creative exploration.

Though Fitzgerald depicts a number of characters with abstruse, fluid identities, Jay Gatsby’s characterisation is particularly elusive. Nick 's first mention of Gatsby introduces the idea of a “personality” being a “series of unbroken gestures”, alluding to a notion that one’s
…show more content…
Keats uses an abundant amount of negative constructions, painting romance in what appears to be a pessimistic light- “Never have relish in the faery power / Of unreflecting love”. These connotations act as a semantic counterpart to Keats’ philosophy of negative capability- a concept that he deems to be “the ability to contemplate the world without the desire to try and reconcile contradictory aspects or fit it into closed and rational systems”. As a poet who wrote with profound desire, in Keats’ sense, negative capability is a sublime manifestation of superlative empathy and identification. Mystical language such as “faery” exemplifies the allegorical representation that love does not exist, similar to “faery power”. The tone of the poem generates imbalance. Cynicism is created within the elaborate usage of natural metaphors- underscored by a copious amount of alliteration as well as the judiciously fabricated iambic pentameter, all of which contribute to the strict metrical pattern that ironically resonances similar to regular spoken English; whereas sanguinity lies within the actual purpose Keats had in mind for the poem itself. In a letter coined by Keats written in 1817, he describes Negative Capability as “Man [is] capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubt, without any irritable reaching after facts and reason”. The type of genius Keats is attempting to explain is equivocal- he is indecisive because his own identity is precarious, he is incessantly being plagued by the identities of those who surround him. In an earlier letter, Keats affirmed that “Men of Genius” do not have “any individuality” or “determined character”. Accordingly, in ‘The Great Gatsby’, Gatsby is a man that lacked a definitive identity. Is this what makes him truly “great”, as the title suggests? In contrast to this, the landscape in ‘When I

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poems, “I find no peace,” “What vaileth truth?” and “Divers doth use” illustrate a sardonic tone concerning courtly love and a lost truth and this is significant because many critics believe Wyatt’s writing style was unintentional. Courtly love played…

    • 1740 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Sonnet 130 for instance is quite obvious in its satirical approach to subverting the conventional Elizabethan love poetry. In the sonnet Shakespeare completely and obviously opposes the usual approach to such a sonnet, instead of focusing on anything that makes her beautiful Shakespeare emphasizes her flaws from the first line; “my mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun”(Greenblatt,1184). This sonnet breaks the important convention of flattering the speaker’s beloved. This approach to the sonnet can be described as an aggressive satire, as Shakespeare mocks not only the expected format of a love sonnet but also those that write in such a form, making the declarations of love written by his fellow poets seem shallow and false. In his radical opposition of falsely flattering the desired subject Shakespeare resists the idea that beauty is the be all and end all in love, the speaker states instead that a true and lasting love should not be affected by beauty, that he still desires his beloved in spite of her flaws.…

    • 1942 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Shelley highlights the hypocrisy of this failed Romantic through Frankenstein’s uncharacteristic and ironic rhetoric and through his contradictory ideals attached to a changing landscape. While Frankenstein’s speech values the heroic ambitions of the Romantic poets, he uses the same manipulative rhetoric as the Creature to do so, exemplifying Shelley’s warning about the limits of the Romantic poet. Frankenstein’s progression from rhetorical questions about heroics to the imperative tense convince even Walton, who does not notice the contradictions between Frankenstein’s previous account of his irresponsibility…

    • 795 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Sonnet 134, AnalysisNirantar YakthumbaBased on the persona’s love that is unreciprocated by his beloved, the Poet illustrates in this sonnet, an internal conflict in the persona. The wholly bitter tone establishes a holistically integrating theme of being torn apart for love and also an atmosphere of histrionic resentment engorged with Petrarch’s hyperbolized emotions. Divided into an octet and a sestet, which are respectively divided into two quatrains and two triplets, the sonnet follows a strict formula of end-stopped lines and medial caesurae: “I find no peace || and have no arms for war |” (l. 1); The use of lineation in this sonnet adds to the conflict in the poem as tropic figures of speech that insinuate a sense of paradox are used ubiquitously: oxymora and antitheses are used to contrast ideas separated by the medial caesurae; “My jailer opens not, nor locks the door,” (l. 5) gives further evidence to the point postulated, how can a jailer not lock yet not open a door simultaneously? The end-stopped lines and the medial caesurae suggest a sense of finality and possibly a disheveled state of emotion as the abrupt pauses break the flow of the recitation and reflect the disturbances in the persona’s emotions, to me the fact that the poem keeps cycling forward as the paradoxical wheel that it is, intimates an anguished…

    • 727 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The poet 's love is unwanted and injustice (Riddell). In this essay I will examine Petrarchan conventions such as the conceit, as well as illicit, thwarted, and unrequited love, and how they portray passionate pursuits. I will also explore Wyatt 's use of both Petrarchan and English sonnet structures and conventions such as conceit, and illicit, thwarted, and unrequited love. I will argue that Wyatt 's deliberate use of both…

    • 1219 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Love In The Aeneid

    • 1307 Words
    • 6 Pages

    There’s nothing, Lysistrata, like a dick” (Aristomenes 134-135). This excerpt is anything but wholesome, but this depiction of love is prevalent throughout the poem. The way the characters are portrayed depicts love as something dirty. The men in the poem refer to love in the same way as the women, and in some instances, they are even more horrible. The men exhibit an angry…

    • 1307 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    John Donne Drunk Analysis

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages

    John Donne crafts an anti-love poem of warning by expressing all the same immediate sentiments of love and longing while also subverting the original love poem genre through drunken expression. This is why no word better encapsulates the overall tone and intention of the poem than “drunk” in the first stanza: “The general balm th ' hydroptic earth hath drunk” (6). The word holds an immense amount of weight as it rests heavy on the tongue. This aforementioned heftiness correlates to the enormity of love’s impact on a person—the substantial weight of love that intoxicates a person. However, there is still a sinister vulgarity that encompasses the loss of control over basic mental facilities and, by extension, mind and self through the comparison to alcohol.…

    • 851 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The majesty of natural world and power of infinite imaginative possibilities are pushed from the fragmented glimpse of his enchanted state. The euphoric representation presents a dichotomy of the mystic nature of imagination and conscious mind. One could argue that Kubla Khan as a poem offers an illegitimate representation of Coleridge’s true potential as a poet. The artificial production, false aesthetic and opium influence of such a poem makes appreciating Coleridge’s poetic creativity more challenging and makes understanding the perspective of his poetic optic…

    • 907 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Irony In Prufrock

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages

    All of these components subtly reflect the dissatisfaction associated with the speaker’s romantic relationships and thereby contrast with the audience’s grandiose expectations of romantic poetry. In dissecting the minutest of Eliot’s words and phrases, one can uncover the poem’s genius methods of proclaiming its theme, which readily explain the text’s century of literary…

    • 824 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In Charles Bukowski's poem, "A Definition" he pushes the limits on the conventional definition of love by acknowledging the harsh reality, that it isn't all hearts and butterflies. When describing love, we tend to quickly jump into a world where problems cease to exist and revel in complete and total infatuation with our partner. This may be so, but as you and I both know love isn't as one-sided as just that. It doesn't come out of the blue, it's a desired commodity that comes with a world of complexity. Bukowski addresses this in this poem and further critiques the idea of love by comparing it to imagery you wouldn't naturally associate with the concept.…

    • 854 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays