The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises demonstrates elements of weakened masculinity throughout the novel. The lasting effects of WWI on the characters, Jake Barnes’ insecurities, and Lady Brett Ashley’s non-conformity all contribute to the minimized presence of masculinity.
Hemingway began writing The Sun Also Rises in 1925 and it was later completed in 1926. Much like the novel’s protagonist, he too resided in Paris working as a journalist, after fighting in WWI. Hemingway began to use his journalism expertise to write fiction. He believed that a good work of fiction was rooted in real life experiences and events. If one were to take a look at Hemingway’s life, a parallel can be drawn between his life and The Sun Also Rises, as well as many of his other works. Other similarities from this period of Hemingway’s life and The Sun Also Rises include: the group of American expatriates and the relationships within the group, the trip to Pamplona, and the bullfighting.
The Sun Also Rises is set in the mid-1920’s, which leads to the centralization of the post-WWI generation. World War I had a lasting effect on this generation and more specifically, the characters in The Sun Also Rises. WWI brought forth a reevaluation of masculinity. Before the war, soldiers were brave, dignified, and overall proud to be fighting for their country; going into battle was a heroic act. However, fighting a war was not all they thought it would be. For long periods of time, soldiers would be crammed into trenches while the enemy attacked. Surviving the war was not all about who was the bravest, but who was the luckiest. The reality of war led to the undermining of what it traditionally meant to be a man. The war held no honor or glory; it was not worth the death and destruction and therefore, led to a sense of confusion amongst the soldiers about what they were actually fighting for. After the war, the sense of confusion lingered and brought forth a generation that...
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