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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

The Indefinite Marriage

This essay compares Havelock Ellis's definition of marriage in Sex and Marriage with F. Scott Fitzgerald's depiction of marriage in The Great Gatsby. Ellis's definition of marriage values the sexual and social relationship between the married, but he struggles to come to a definite conclusion about whether the value of the sexual and social relationship is correspondent with the value of the marriage. Fitzgerald depicts a marriage that fails to provide any moving evidence of the sort of social and sexual unity that Ellis argues is central to marriage. Tom and Daisy also exhibit symptoms of the more general post-war disillusionment that is captured in so much of the literature of the Jazz Age, and the effect of this disillusionment on Tom and Daisy partly explains the difficulties that they have in meeting Ellis's standards of social and sexual sympathy.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Sean Pfeifer (Graduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 2 pm Session III