Love in the Modern Novel

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Katy Lu
WR150 J7
Professor Kent
Love in Modern Novel
Paper three Final draft
Apr. 17, 2012
The Sun also rises: A Continuously Reversed Cosine Tragedy In Gunther Schomigalle’s “How people go to hell: Pessimism, Tragedy, and Affinity to Schopenhauer in The Sun Also Rises”, he mentions, “I believe Hemingway was right when, in letters to his editor, he called The Sun Also Rises ‘a book as tragic as that’ (Reynolds 45) or ‘a damn tragedy’ (Lynn 333)” (Schomigalle 10). Some may argues that Jake finally gets rid of Brett and ends his pain by adopting the Count’s values: money can buy happiness and love is merchandise, so never fall in love. However, neither did Jake end his tragedy with Brett nor did he succeed in adopting this value. This article will lead through Jake’s failed attempts to control his desire. His attempted control of his desire for Brett fluctuates as a reversed Cosine curve. This curve is composed by three parts: the middle line is Jake’s peace; below the line shows his depression; above the line indicates his aggressive emotions. The curve begins before the book does and extends into the future. The book starts the curve at the bottom of Jake’s depression after he meets with Brett (See exhibit’s point A). The encounter with the Count’s value brings him back to peace (point B). However, Jake’s jealousy of Cohn soon releases Jake’s desire to the maximum level (point C) where he loses control. Romero’s appearance saves Jake from losing control (point D), but leads him back to depression (point E). The imitation of the count’s action helps him back in charge of his feelings (point F). Because of Jake’s nature, he fails to accept and exercise these values as the Count. His suffering will continues whenever Brett is back (the extended dashed line). In the book, Jake Barnes, the narrator who becomes impotent after the war, meets his lover Lady Brett Ashley again. Brett, who is famous for her infidelity, is described as “[the] center of a group of men [as] the courtly knight [who love and serve her]” in Kim Moreland’s “Hemingway’s Medievalist Impulse: Its effect on the presentation of Women and War in the Sun Also Rises” (Moreland 31). Jake, Count Mippipopolousand, Robert Cohn, and Pedro Romero are all knights serve the lady. However, among these knights, Jake is special. Jake is suffering for his incapability to meet his desire for Brett. The combination and the contradiction of Brett’s nymphomania and Jake’s impotent create Jake’s continuous tragedy. They cannot be together. After they meet, Jake goes back and lies on the bed and drowns in his thinking. He thinks, “I suppose she only wanted what she couldn’t have. Well, people were that way” (Hemingway 39). Jake’s thought demonstrates Schomigalle’s idea about Jake’s suffering. Jake is suffering because “the entire cosmos as a limitless and forever unsatisfied desire [to Brett]… [Jake is suffering for] his infinite capacity to create desires and the impossibility of finding any lasting satisfaction, the contradiction at the heart of all human suffering” (Schomigalle 12). Jake is so painful but he is incapability to change the reality of his impotent. He feels more depressed after realizing Brett’s unwilling to give in through their conversation. Jake’s tragedy is a continuous curve begins from the past and continuous in the future. In the second epigraph of The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway quotes from the Ecclesiastes. “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again” (4-7). This shows the ceaseless of nature and implies the continuous tragedy of Jake’s routine dissatisfaction. In Jake’s meditation, he considers, “probably I never would have had any trouble if I hadn’t run into Brett when they shipped me to England” (Hemingway 39). He underlines his tragedy begins from the unwritten story between Brett and Jake in the past (the dashed line before point A). Thinking...
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