The War Novel “The Sun Also Rises”

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The Sun Also Rises is a war novel published in 1926 by Ernest Hemingway. This book is inspired by a true story, and is one of the works that made him very famous in the nineteen-twenties. The Sun Also Rises is narrated in the first person from the limited perspective of Jakes Barnes, the center of the story. This book tells the story of a group of American and British tourists in Paris, France. He and his friends are writers and artists for during World War I. They pass all their days sitting around in bars and cafes, drinking large amounts of alcohol. They took a trip in Pamplona, Spain, and decided to go there because they wanted to travel, fish, and see the running of the bulls. Many dramatic events happen during this trip because of some affairof love that the characters have between each other. This novel discusses many themes that writers use to write their books. In this book the major themes are masculinity, romanticism (love), disillusionment, power, and escapism. Every theme in this novel is assimilated to different characters, especially the main characters. Jake’s narration is insensible and detached. He tells the story as a journalist and explains every situation with many details. He never leaves the reader uninterested. But for our studies, this paper will discuss the ‘perspective of love’ point of view presented by Hemingway.

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The theme of love is very interesting in this novel because it’s hard to identify when someone is really in love with someone, and when they are not. I’m writing this paper on this topic because the theme of love is the one who conduct the reader to be more focus.The Possibility of True Love in the View of Ernest Hemingway The romantic partners in The Sun Also Rises have a habit of exhibiting personality changes often. Despite the fact that marriage is sometimes mentioned, it is always a disastrous and unhappy affair for characters such as Cohn. Robert Cohn has divorced his wife, whom he was married to for five years and had three children. Some time later, he thinks he has found love and gets in a relationship with a young woman named Frances Coyne, a woman who is a possessive and manipulative social climber. But some time later he decides to leave her to have an affair with another important character in the novel named Brett, better known as Lady Brett Ashley. Most of the time in novels, the beginnings of the real love scenes come in many forms, from beautiful landscape frames, to restaurants, to romantic outlets etc. But here, the characters do not establish a domestic life for themselves. Nocturnal drinking and long meals in public places are the main domestic activity in the novel. The occupations and movements of the characters are aimless and agitated.

Ernest Hemingway presents two characters with the possibility of representing true love, these two characters are Jakes Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Brett is even revealed to aspire to love with Jake. In several chapters of the novel, the author shows the reader that Jake and Brett share a true love, and could be a real couple. To have a better understanding of their characters, it’s impossible to analyse their relationship without a good and deep reflection on their characters. Jake and Brett have common traits and, on the other hand, they can hardly be compared to each other. In their common traits both characters participated in the First World War. He was veteran of this war, and Brett was a nurse during the war. While they were in service of their countries, and something very unfortunate happened to both of them. Jake was in a very serious accident that does not let him lead a normal life, and Brett lost her beloved, who was her first real love. After that she married a man who abused her but at the beginning of the novel she is divorced. All of these events shape the topic of love because it brings a dramatic side to their love stories. That’s why we see two people physically and mentally, or better, psychologically damaged. By their common points, they see that they are alike and want them and try to be closer to each other by seeking mutual understanding and relief from their suffering.

The two characters are very appreciative. In Chapter 4, Book 1, Jakes tries to kiss Brett but she refuses. But soon after this act, she admits that she loves him but doesn’t want to go through that hell again . He tries to make her happy, make her laugh, and so on, but that will not be enough to change her mind. She prefers to go from man to man and not pursue a romantic relationship with Jake.The Weakness and Failures From Forming RelationshipsAs stated before, The Sun Also Rises is a story about a group of disillusioned expatriates who are engaged in romances during the whole novel. The theme of love is not the big center here but it helps us to have a better understanding on why those people don’t try to open their heart to women or open their heart to each other. Love don’t only take place in relationship between two opposite sex or same sex but it also happens in those relationship with your friends, family, etc.. The women and men are intermingled in the novel. All the men in the story are in love with one woman named Lady Brett Ashley. The group represents the lost generation of the First World War because they were considered as disillusioned with the world and everything around them. Many during this war have been destroyed in their morality and religion.

All of the characters turned to carnal desires as food, sex, alcohol to full the void inside. World War I left Jake, Cohn, Mike, Bill and Count Mippipopolous insecure about their masculinity. For example, Jake’s injury during the war does not allow him to be able to physically partner with Brett or anyone else. Jake’s friends try to hide their insecurities and hurt their egos by drinking a lot, chasing sex and watching violent sports such as bullfighting. Each of them are weak in their own way. Mike is broke and Cohn has a lack of love. They are all weak because of the war, including Brett. Brett was destroyed from the World War I when she lost her first true love. To live her life, she drinks all the time. She is always in a romantic situation with many different guys in the novel such as Jake, Mike, Cohn, and Romero. Also the theme of sex is considered as a weakness that proves to be a devastating force in The Sun Also Rises that prevent the main characters from forming loving relationship. Sexual weakness is explored entirely through Brett’s relationship. Everybody know that love began always by a flirt, but with her character we can see that relationship is not always about love but about a game with her partners.

She flirted with every man and always made them lose something. She left Cohn a broken heart, she lost her friendship with Jake, and destroyed Romero’s career. After the weaknesses there is the failures. The failures come from all of the characters. The major failures in this novel is the communication between every character. Conversations are rarely direct or honest. They hide real feelings behind a mask of civility. The moments of honesty and authenticity in communication generally only occur when the characters are feeling very badly. Whenever a man tries to talk to Brett about a real serious relationship, this is a failure. Whenever an event is supposed to happen, a problem this product or a dispute broke out as for example in Pamplona. The characters in the story that demonstrate the capacity for true love are Brett and Jake. They love each other, lost something from the war, and had a huge friendship. They tried to build a relationship together even if Brett was afraid to suffer again from another relationship. Jake was ready to give her anything even if he had his injury from the war. But at the end, we know that nothing will ever happen between them because Jakes realizes the game of Lady Brett Ashley.

Yes, isn’t it pretty to think so? This line is the last sentence in The Sun Also Rises that shows us that Brett and Jake’s love is only a pretty illusion.CONCLUSION:In conclusion, love is a very confusing feeling especially when it touches people who are morally broken mentally or physically. The love presented here by Ernest Hemingway is circular, everyone loves the same person who is Brett and she plays with all of them to cure the wounds from the past. The life that each character leads does not allow them to have a real loving relationship. The memories of the war, the sex, the alcohol, the insecurity of each character allow them to flourish in their daily and sentimental lives. The more their weaknesses take over, the more failures follow each other. The theme of love in the novel is represented in a very vague and very complicated way. Here, the theme of love is mostly inaccessible for the characters because they afraid to love again or also they want to enjoy their lives and not be stable in their relationship.

Even though Lady Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes demonstrate the capacity for true love, one realizes that their love is represented in the form of illusions. They love each other but can live their love plainly because they life don’t allow them to be happy. Even if they live a life with no specific goal they can’t stay away from each other. Jake is always there for Lady Brett Ashley . Brett, who is considered a distinct individual character, comp herself a lot with Jake on her side. We can only understand the true meaning if we start to see Brett as Hemingway wanted to show it to us, that is, the element that needs to grow through the character of Jake. Brett, who has a multitude of “affair” with “people” who represent different ideologies and beliefs, can not believe in any of them for a long time. Because the important character she really loves, Jake is helpless. Whenever Brett begins to believe in something, she becomes invariably disillusioned and returns to Jake, the man who knows her better than any other. Love is not always about feelings in this novel but about the experience that you had in your life.

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The War Novel "The Sun Also Rises". (2019, Aug 16). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from

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