Independent Study – The Sun Also Rises
Nov. 22, 2013
The Sun Also Rises
The ‘Lost Generation’ refers to the young people retuning to the states after WWI. They were disillusioned, confused and living in a new age of sexual freedom and changing moral values. The “Lost Generation” was often characterized as having feelings of moral decay and social alienation. The Sun Also Rises is a novel that is effective as a literary validation of those feelings. One of the major stories throughout the novel is the love story between Brett and Jake. They had fallen in love during the war, but Jake had suffered a war wound that left him impotent. Brett is divorced, sensual and immoral, portrayed as the new example of female sexual freedom. She’s engaged to be married to a wealthy man but sleeps with whomever she pleases. This is one of the recurring themes of moral decay, the casual sex, the lack of respect to long held traditions like monogamy and marriage. Jake says to her “I guess you like to add them up” referring to her enticing men to fall in love with her, sleeping with them and then tossing them aside, again showing us the decline in morality.
Mike who is Brett’s fiancée is another morally and financially bankrupt character. He’s lost all his money but has no problem drinking, dining and vacationing on the generosity of his companions; this seems to be a common occurrence for all the characters that seem to be always short of cash. There is a scene where Mike is subjected to feelings of social alienation. He is an outcast at one of the clubs due to his bankruptcy.
Brett says she loves Jake but would probably cheat on him if they tried to live together. Brett is still miserable with her life even with all her partying and casual affairs. This shows the social alienation she feels amidst all those people yet longing for her true love and ultimately being all alone. One evening Jake picks up the” Harlot” named