Law and Humanities
Published: 20 November 2023
The Burden of the Past: A Comparative Study of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury
Najlaa Hosny Ameen Mohammed
Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia
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Keywords: Burden of the Past, Comparative Study, The Great Gatsby, The Sound and The Fury, Critical Responses, Literary Techniques
This paper contrasts The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald with The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, examining the burden of the past. The two novels explore how past experiences and events influence individuals and societies in distinct ways. By evaluating the critical responses, historical and cultural contexts, and literary techniques employed by the authors, this paper delivers a deeper understanding of how literature can reflect and remark upon the complexities of human experience and history. It demonstrates this through an analysis of the critical responses, historical and cultural contexts, and literary techniques employed by the authors, observing that while both novels deal with the burden of the past, they do so in different ways reflecting the historical and cultural contexts in which they were written. Fitzgerald’s novel critiques the American fixation with the past and the perils of nostalgia, whereas Faulkner’s novel reflects on the decline of the Southern aristocracy and the legacy of slavery and bigotry in the Southern United States. Literary devices, such as symbolism, imagery, characterization, and stream-of-consciousness narration emphasize the psychological effects of the weight of the past on both individuals and societies. This comparative analysis highlights the capacity of the literature to reflect and commentate on the complexities of human experience and history, exploring the significance of understanding the historical and cultural contexts in which it is produced and consumed.
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