Evaluate the effectiveness of methods used by F Scott Fitzgerald and Philip Larkin to present masculinity. While Fitzgerald indicates that cramming men into this stereotype is detrimental- Gatsby dies as a result of the struggle between class- Larkin seems to have a more ambivalent relationship with masculinity. He never fought in the war due to his bad eyesight, and he never produced children, so he may be viewed as a subversion of the masculine stereotype, especially given his rejection of the philistine and sometimes vulgar nature associated with men in the s and 60s.
However, he also considers the concept of legacy; despite being very famous for his poetry, he considered himself not having a legacy as he had no children the ultimate show of masculinity. His relationships with multiple women simultaneously only goes to show his misunderstanding of their nature. It is also fundamental to note that both authors are male, so we may expect their portrayal of women to be subject to the male gaze, consciously or not.
On the one hand, we see power as a form of control employed by those in positions of authority or status to manipulate those inferior to them.
As a result, we could argue that Fitzgerald presents this imbalance of power in order to criticise the sexism that was typical of s America. However, an alternate reading of power within these two works is the durability and impact of love and dreams. Although power destroys Gatsby, the power of his love and dreams is still admirable to Nick. Larkin often questions the validity of love and faith, but seems to appreciate its power over our lives. There is a sense of absence to the aforementioned wealthy people in the novel, which is most apparent in Tom and Daisy.
Fitzgerald may be criticising the inert and thoughtless nature of old money, especially when we see the vitality of Gatsby being so callously cut short. Larkin illustrates a similar state of affairs in s and 60s Britain; materialism and consumerism has made people blind to reality. American dream in east egg village? Starting an argument defending your assignment. Each chapter by reading chapter.
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