Context In The Great Gatsby Year 10 Essay

930 words - 4 pages

Context has great relevance in the book ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F.Scott Fitzgerald and the poem ‘O What Is That Sound’ by W.H Auden. ‘The Great Gatsby’ implies that the American dream is unachievable and that money does not buy happiness. W.H Auden uses the poem ‘O What Is That Sound’ to educate the reader that living through a war is horrific and devastating.
Context greatly influenced F.Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’. After WW1 America experienced a huge increase in private wealth and people accumulated large personal fortunes. During this time everyone strived to become rich. Fitzgerald uses alliteration in the line “there are only the pursued and the pursuing”. This implies that during that time there were only rich people and people who were working to be rich. Fitzgerald also uses repetition in the line “you can’t live forever, you can’t live forever”. This refers to when Myrtle was considering having an affair with Tom and believed that her life would never be satisfying living in the ‘ashes’ and that the only way to be happy was to have money. ‘The Great Gatsby’ uses negative imagery in the line “I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes”. That line refers to how even though Gatsby was rich and hosted a party every weekend he wasn’t happy. People didn’t go to his parties because they were friends they went because it was a distraction from how unfulfilling their lives were. There was no social connection or strong bond the attraction was purely his wealth. ‘The great Gatsby’ uses symbolism with the idea that the green light on Daisy’s dock is representing the unattainable American dream. The green light could also represent hope that one day Gatsby and Daisy will get back together. You learn from ‘The Great Gatsby’ that the American dream will never be achieved. It also shows that as hard as you try money cannot buy happiness.

Context plays a large role in W.H Auden’s poem ‘O What Is That Sound’. The poem was written after WW1 when everyone knew the horrors of what war really was. Auden uses alliteration in the line “only the scarlet soldiers dear”. ‘Scarlet soldiers’ refers to the red coats that the English soldiers wore during WW1. That alliteration also creates a whispering effect to make it clear the narrator is trying to calm down their partner. Auden uses repetition of the word ‘wheeling’ in the fourth stanza to create tension. The word ‘wheeling’ implies that the army is strong and organized and the couple can’t do anything about the approaching forces. Auden uses negative imagery in the line “Only the sun on their weapons, dear”. This helps set the scene implying that the couple is standing on top of a hill looking down on the army and the sun is glistening off their weapons....

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