Brett Ashley as a New Woman (Hemingway)

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 154
  • Published : April 9, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview

Universität Augsburg
Amerikanistik
PS: Genders of Modernism
Dozent: Timo Müller
WS 07/08

Brett Ashley as a New Woman
in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

Contents

1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................3

2. Brett Ashley .......................................................................................................................4

2.1. Characterisation of Brett Ashley ..............................................................................4

2.2. The Relationship Between Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes......................................6

3. The New Woman.................................................................................................................8

4. The New Woman Associated with Brett Ashley .............................................................9

5. Conclusion ........................................................................................................................11

6. Bibliography ....................................................................................................................12

1. Introduction

Are women supposed to dress like men, drink beer and hit on every man or even women they like? What behaviour are men and women supposed to pursue? How did gender roles change over the years? In the very past, women did have totally different duties and responsibilities than nowadays, they were obeyed by men and would not act like women these days. But things change! During the 20th century women have developed their rights, pushed their borders further and have gained expansions for themselves. They slowly detached themselves from their chains, attached by society. Brett Ashley for example, was one of such a revolutionary women: In Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises the female protagonist Brett Ashley behaves unusual for a women living in the beginning of the 20th century. She behaves more like a woman nowadays, like a New Woman. This paper therefore aims to analyse how far Brett Ashley is considered as a New Woman and why. The first section concerns on Brett Ashley’s character, look and way of being, how she behaves in several situations and on her interpersonal relationship with Jake Barnes, the narrator and protagonist of the novel. The second section then focuses on the New Women at the beginning of the 20th century. The last section combines the first and second section. It deals with the question how far Brett Ashley represents a New Woman. It establishes the relationship between the characteristics of a New Woman and Brett Ashley. A conclusion will finally resume the three sections.

2. Brett Ashley

2.1. Characterisation of Brett Ashley

Brett Ashley is the leading female character in Ernest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises. She does have an interpersonal relationship with nearly all male main characters of the novel, which all fail. Therefore many criticizers are not positive tempted about her.1 She is a 34-year old English aristocrat living in Paris. She stays with her current partner Mike Campbell while awaiting her divorce from Lord Ashley, an alcoholic war veteran who abused her.2 Brett is introduced when she enters a bar together with a group of homosexuals: ‘‘Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that.’’ (SA 19)3 Brett’s short haircut and her clothes defy a traditional Victorian fashion and are considered to be trend-setting. The fact that she enjoys the nightlife of Paris not with one single male beside her but together with a group of homosexuals shows a...
tracking img