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Dear John and The Merchant of Venice

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Vinnie Chu

on 11 June 2014

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Transcript of Dear John and The Merchant of Venice

Romance and Love
Romance and love themed literature work are common among our society because both themes are basic needs of human beings. This type of intimacy is needed between human beings to create close bonds with one another. Without this intimacy, humans will become isolated and lonely. For this reason, many authors have romance and love as a common theme in literature. Not only does writing about this theme entertain the author, it also entertains the reader. In both Dear John and The Merchant of Venice, romance and love are included as one of the main themes. Since romance and love are such important needs to humans, many songs writer incorporate it into a theme in their song.
Dear John and The Merchant of Venice
Connection
The novel Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare both share the importance of romance and love. This thematic relationship is shown through many themes, various symbols and different character personalities. Both books are about placing romance and love above all else.
Love Before Self- Interest
Love before self-interest is a theme that compares Dear John with The Merchant of Venice. In Dear John, John had inherited his fathers coin collection and the coins were priceless and valuable to him. He was willing to give up all of his coins to Savannah and Tim even though the coins were special to him. John sold all of his coins to use the money to save Tim, a man who stole the love of his life. This sacrifice John made for Savannah showed the theme of love before self-interest.
"I want to sell my dad's coin collection, and I need the money as quickly as you can get me" -John Tyree
This relates to The Merchant of Venice because Antonio also showed an act of love before self-interest when he was willing to borrow money to Bassanio. Antonio continued to lend money to Bassanio even though he can be killed by Shylock (pound of flesh). This shows how Antonio values more about human relationships rather than money.
Grenade - Bruno Mars Lyrics
Easy come, easy go
That's just how you live, oh
Take, take, take it all
But you never give
Should've known you was trouble
From the first kiss
Had your eyes wide open
Why were they open?
Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
'Cause what you don't understand is...
I'd catch a grenade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I'd jump in front of a train for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I'd do anything for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same

No, no, no, no
Black, black, black and blue
Beat me 'til I'm numb
Tell the devil I said "Hey" when you get back to where you're from
Mad woman, bad woman
That's just what you are
Yeah, you'll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

Gave you all I had
And you tossed it in the trash
You tossed it in the trash, yes you did
To give me all your love is all I ever asked
'Cause what you don't understand is...

I'd catch a grenade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I'd jump in front of a train for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I'd do anything for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same
If my body was on fire
Oh, you'd watch me burn down in flames
You said you loved me, you're a liar
'Cause you never, ever, ever did, baby
But, darling, I'd still catch a grenade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Throw my hand on a blade for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
I'd jump in front of a train for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
You know I'd do anything for you (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Oh, I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby
But you won't do the same

No, you won't do the same
You wouldn't do the same
Oh, you'd never do the same
Oh, no no no
This connects back to the main theme of romance and love because in both books, a sacrifice was made to help someone they love. John put love before self-interest when he sold his coin collection and Antonio showed it by lending money to Bassanio, risking his life.
The Disrespect of filial piety
Both Dear John and The Merchant of Venice have the theme about the disrespect of filial piety. In Dear John, John's father had only one interest, and that was coin collecting. John's fathers coin collection is one of his life long work and is very important to him. However, John sold his father's coin collection to give the money to Savannah. This shows John's disrespect of filial piety because he knew the coins were special and the only thing he bonded through with his father, but he continued to sell the coins ,which would break his father's heart.
"I sold the coins for less than they were worth, and piece by piece, I knew that the remains of my dad’s collection would be distributed to people who would never care as much about them as he did." -John Tyree
The theme about the disrespect of filial piety relates to The Merchant of Venice when Jessica runs away with Lorenzo and taking away the Turquoise Ring, Shylock's most prized possession. Jessica running away left Shylock feeling lonely and she also sold the Turquoise Ring for a pet monkey, breaking Shylock's heart.
However, John sold his father's coin collection because he wanted to save Savannah's husband, Tim. John still loves Savannah and decides to sell the coin collection to help her, showing the main theme of romance and love. Jessica running away with Lorenzo showed the theme of romance and love because she did it for love. She wanted to start a new life with Lorenzo and had to run away because Shylock would never approve her marrying a Christian. Both John and Jessica disrespected their fathers for love.
Symbols: Savannah's Purse & The three caskets
Savannah's purse is a symbol in Dear John as it tests the man's true personality and presents the same chance for both men to impress the woman. When Savannah dropped her purse into the water, both Randy (another man that likes Savannah) and John had the same chance to retrieve the purse. The one who is willing to retrieve the purse foreshadows who Savannah will date.
"You've got to get it before it sinks!"
- Savannah Lynn Curtis
This is similar to the three caskets because the one who chooses the right box foreshadows who Portia will marry. The caskets tests the personalities of those who want to marry her. It gives the same opportunities to all men like Savannah's purse. These two symbols relate back to the theme of romance and love because the one who truly loves the woman would choose the correct casket or be willing to dive for the purse.
Symbols: Turquoise ring and savannah
In Dear John, John loses the love of his life, Savannah, to Tim, Savannah's best friend. This is similar to The Merchant of Venice when Shylock loses his Turquoise Ring to Jessica. In both books, John and Shylock loses something that represents their significant other. John's lost of Savannah symbolizes his greed for wanting to break up her and Tim's marriage. However, John's strong will and morals were shown when he was able to stop himself from thinking of his greed.
"As much as I love you, I am not willing to break up a marriage for it." -John Tyree
Shylock lost his ring to Jessica when she ran away with it. Since Shylock lost his ring to Jessica, he doesn't want to lose anymore money showing his greed. The Turquoise Ring in The Merchant of Venice and Savannah from Dear John both relate back to romance and love because both symbols represents their significant other. The Turquoise Ring represents Shylock's wife and Savannah represents John's ex-girlfriend (John still loves Savannah).
Characterization : Merciful
In Dear John, John was the protagonist while in The Merchant of Venice, Antonio was the protagonist. Both John and Antonio are portrayed as merciful characters because they were forgiving of those who hurt or tried to hurt them. John forgave Savannah for falling in love with someone else while he was at war. He was never mad at Savannah for what she has done, but also gave up his precious coin collection to save Tim. John continued to save Tim's life even though if he died, Savannah could be with him. This shows evidence that John is a merciful and forgiving person.
"I know that sounds like an excuse, but please believe me when I say that I didn't mean to fall in love with someone else. Lying would diminish everything we've shared and I don't want to do that, even though you feel betrayed." -Savannah Lynn Curtis
This quote shows how Savannah has fallen in love with Tim and is breaking up with John. John feels betrayed but continues to love her and forgive her. Similar to when Antonio forgave Shylock for an attempt of murder and spared him his life. Antonio instead of taking Shylock's life or money, he wants him to convert to a Christian. Antonio felt this was the best for Shylock and did this only to help him, portraying him as a merciful and forgiving person.
This relates back to the theme of romance and love because John's love for Savannah was strong enough to make him forgive her. Forgiving Savannah was hard for John, but he overcame that obstacle because he still loved her. In the Merchant of Venice, Christians were portrayed as good and loving people to everyone, which is why Antonio was able to forgive Shylock.
Characterization: Kindness and Warmth
Both John and Antonio symbolize kindness and warmth. John symbolizes this through Savannah and Antonio symbolizes it through Bassanio. John symbolized this when he continued to visit Savannah to see how she was doing despite the fact they already broke up. He makes sure she is living a happy life and wishes her the best.
"You're a hero and a gentleman, you're kind and honest, but more than that, you're the first man I ever truly loved"
-Savannah Lynn Curtis
Conclusion
The song Grenade by Bruno Mars relates to the theme of romance and love because Bruno was willing to do anything for the girl. He was willing to die for the girl and this was shown when in the song he said....

I'd catch a grenade for you
Throw my hand on a blade for you
I'd jump in front of a train for you
You know I'd do anything for you
Oh, I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain
Yes, I would die for you, baby

Similar to John and Antonio, they are willing to do anything, even if it means sacrificing themselves.



When Bassanio recieves a letter from Antonio informing him that he is unable to pay the loan back, Bassanio states Antonio is a great, kind and honorable man. This shows evidence that Antonio is a kind and loving friend because he risked his life to borrow money.
This relates to the main theme of romance and love because in both books, the protagonist was willing to do anything to make the other person happy.
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