November 7 2012
You is kind, you is smart, you is impotent
Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is a fast paced and dramatic novel. Two of the main characters, Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley, are absolutely no exception to this stereotype. The novel is narrated by Jake Barnes, and opens in Paris during the 1920’s. Jake Barnes is an expatriate who has moved to Paris to pursue journalism, and Lady Brett Ashley is a twice divorced woman who is legendary throughout the novel for her sexual exploits. Brett is a ruthless “man-eater” who goes through men just as quickly as she can find them, and Jake is a love-struck puppy who is powerless to her allure. Jake is madly in love with Brett at the beginning of the novel, but, as the novel progresses, Jake is able to conquer his lust for Brett and find an inner peace among his tireless and abrasive surroundings.
As the novel opens, Jake is revealed to have strong feelings for Brett. Jakes sees Brett enter a club with some of her friends and immediately becomes jealous; Jake berates her about the company she keeps and, in doing so, shows how deep his feelings are for Brett. Jake is head over heels in love with Brett. Jake even talks to Brett about love as a general subject trying to gauge Brett’s interest. "’It’s funny,’ I said. ‘It’s very funny. And it’s a lot of fun, too, to be in love.’ ‘Do you think so?’ her eyes looked flat again. ‘I don’t mean fun that way. In a way it’s an enjoyable feeling.’ ‘No,’ she said. "I think it’s hell on earth.’” Jake is trying to judge whether Brett is interested in a relationship, but, unfortunately, Brett seems completely uninterested (Hemingway 35). Jake fought in WWI leaving him with an injury that impairs his ability to have sex, but he still attempts to convince Brett that there are ways around this problem. Jake asks Brett in a cab if they could just live together because Jake loves Brett...
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