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In what Sense can we connect the Ideas of the Idealised Self and the Gap between the Signifier and Signified to Link our Understanding of the Ways in which Fitzgerald and Duffy Discuss Love?

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In what Sense can we connect the Ideas of the Idealised Self and the Gap between the Signifier and Signified to Link our Understanding of the Ways in which Fitzgerald and Duffy Discuss Love? 'At the heart of Carol Ann Duffy's poetry is a continual acknowledgement and exploration of the limits of language.' As love is a main theme in Carol Ann Duffy's 'Rapture' and F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'The Great Gatsby' it is no surprise that many methods are used by both authors to discuss the way love is felt and used by people, including the language used, and the confusion that can be caused by the written word and speech. In 'The Great Gatsby,' the character of Gatsby is in love with Daisy, almost to the stage of obsession. This love is the thing that eventually pulls them apart. And the basis of 'Rapture' is from the beginning to the end of a love affair. The poems analyzed - 'Quickdraw,' 'Finding the Words,' 'Write,' and 'Syntax' - are placed throughout the collection, each of them indicating a different stage in the persona's relationship with their significant other. Michael Woods, in his critical essay regarding the works of Duffy, 'Translation, reflection and refraction in the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy,' used the opening quote to summarise what he is reflecting about in his essay, and it is a near perfect summation of Duffy's, and to some extent Fitzgerald's, discussion of love, and the language of love. ...read more.


Fitzgerald uses Phonocentrism and Logocentrism to great effect in Gatsby to show how central identity is, and how the lack of it truly ruins people. The character of Gatsby, as mentioned above, is an identity created to fulfil his aims. He is a very vocal character, with hardly any written word in the novel. The entire picture the reader gets of Gatsby is through Nick's narrative, and Gatsby's speech. His speech, as mentioned above, appears fine on the surface, yet is slightly off, the 'old sport?' as mentioned. This shows us Gatsby's already apparent shadiness from his first vocal appearance, showing the power of the phonocentric form of language. He can get away with his faux-personality at the beginning, though he cannot keep it up through the novel. The logocentric form of Gatsby is only evident at a few points in the novel. Nick's 'narrativisation' of Gatsby is the view we get of him, and it is though Nick that we see the so called 'centre' of Gatsby's character. As the written word supposedly shows us the centre of the subject, only Nick sees this of Gatsby, making his character basically transparent to everyone else. The logocentric form of Gatsby is the letter that his father shows Nick regarding his schedule. This shows the 'true' Gatsby, and the 'centre' of his real life, and the base for every one of his identities. As the novel is written after Gatsby's death, Nick already knows this true personality of him, and so can 'narrativise' his wanted version of Gatsby to create the person he wants to be able to like. ...read more.


It shows that the gap between her and Gatsby is still there, although he has done everything in his power to change himself to suit her. This romance ultimately shows us the despair and pain that can come from a relationship where neither person is true to themselves, let alone their significant other. Whereas the idea of the idealised self in 'Rapture' studies the fact that when in love, one version of yourself, the version that is the others epitome of you, envelopes all other versions in the hope of your love been reciprocated. Though when that relationship falls through, you go back to how you were before, in the same physical body, and this will keep recurring. As is the idea of Eternal Return put across by Friedrich Nietzsche. The study of the gap between the signifier and the signified is presented in the use of language in 'Rapture,' rather than through the story as in 'The Great Gatsby.' The strength of the phonocentric form of language over the weakness presented in the logocentric form shows the gap and the problems that this can cause in a relationship. Especially when comparing various meanings of the same words, as is the case of diff�rance, when in the logocentric form. The other aspect of language questioned is the repetitiveness of specific language - the 'language of love' as such. As Lewis Carroll put across in 'Through the Looking Glass:' 'When I use a word it means just what I want choose it to mean - neither more nor less.' Though this causes a severe problem if the receiver of your words doesn't take your meaning as theirs. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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This is a good essay - it shows understanding, good analysis and evidence of wider reading by including quotes and references from critical voices such as Lewis Carroll and Nietzsche. However in including these the writer has sacrificed the inclusion of more quotes from Duffy and Fitzgerald and more in depth analysis of the language of love that these two writers use. Eg. when Daisy says to G that he always looks so cool everyone in the room including Tom realises that she has just told G she loves him. The essay needs to be structured more carefully as there is a lot of very good analysis that needs to be organised more clearly in order to answer the question.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 05/07/2013

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