The Sun Also Rises
Hemingway utilizes the theme and allegory to express lessons in life of immorality. The characters in The Sun Also Rises tend to treat life as if it were never going to end. They live fast and hard by jumping from one town to the next drinking and unrealized love. The narrator, Jake, upon the end of the war is completely in love with Brett Ashley; whom seems to take the stage as the main attraction to all characters in the book. She is described as a beautiful British socialite who drinks heavily. The book describes her as separated from her husband and awaiting divorce. She is in love with Jake but she is unwilling to commit to a relationship with him because it means that she will have to give up sex. Brett Ashley takes up with many men, but is not willing to fully commit to any one of them.
The bullfighting in the story seems to have a symbolic reflection to the episodes that have just occurred or are about to occur. At the beginning of the fiesta, the killing of the steer seems to lead up to the assault on Cohn, as well as, Brett’s destruction of Cohn and his values. The bullfights are symbolic in two different views; the view of the post war society and the view from Jake’s perspective. Just as the men in the story all were commanding Brett’s affections, the bull fighter was commanding the affections of the crowd. “Each bull-fight involves seduction, manipulation, maneuvering, and penetration by the bull-fighter of the bull. It is significant that, of all the characters, Jake, Brett, Romero, and Montoya are the most stirred by bull-fighting” (Shmoop Editorial Team). Water is used in this book as a symbol of purification and relief. There are multiple instances where the narrator, Jake, escapes to a more peaceful situation in which involves the water. When Jake seemed stressed about Brett and Mike not meeting them, he and Bill left for a fishing trip in which they spent five wonderful days fishing, drinking, playing cards, and relaxing. They described the river as being cool and refreshing enough to chill the wine. The wine they described as being able to refresh them and not leave them drunk and disorderly. “Later in the story while they were in San Sebastian, Jake describes the ocean as being able to free from the stresses of life, stating that it made him feel supported and weightless; he states he would like nothing more than to swim in it” (Shmoop Editorial Team). Hemmingway used color to describe the scenery in a vivid manor. He would directly state the colors of the world around the character creating a vivid and clear picture of what the narrator was seeing. He would use phrases such as “white roads, green fields, and red tiled roofs of villages”. This imagery was used to paint the picture and allow the reader to escape in their senses being able to see it the way the characters were seeing it.
World War I created what is referred to as the “lost generation”. People in this era lived life in a way unheard of before the war. People previously had lived life in a way which was based on traditional beliefs and morals in which grounded them, leaving them responsible and connected to life. Post war, people began this lifestyle in which they began to become psychologically and morally lost. The world seemed as if it were meaningless. With these feelings people seemed to become un-stationary, traveling from place to place drinking and crating mayhem. The characters in the story were emotionally and mentally affected by the war, leaving them in this drastic lifestyle. People during this time period were in what history describes as the “roaring twenties”. During this time it was a cultural dynasty, jazz music blossomed as well as Art Deco. The “flapper” emerged during this era, which redefined womanhood, allowing women to dress more risqué and be more independent. It was now accepted for a woman to pursue men, instead of the traditional courting style in previous...
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