Research Papers on Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises
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As one of the most profound pieces of literature by Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises tells the story of a number of American and British individuals traveling from Paris to Spain to watch the infamous bullfights and the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Hemingway is able to expertly tell the story of several members of the “lost generation” at this point in history because he himself was one of them. Having seen the horrors of the First World War, Hemingway was fundamentally altered, and his writing reflects this sentiment expertly.
The protagonist of this novel, Jake Barnes, was wounded in conflict; he is impotent as a result. This crisis of manhood is something that plagues him throughout the course of the novel, especially as a result of the deep emotions he feels for another character, Lady Brett Ashley. If Barnes is able to embody the character of the first two decades of the 1900s—that of lost masculinity and incompleteness as a result of the war—then Ashley is able to embody the character of the 1920s, the time when the novel is set; she is a “new woman”, with short, bobbed hair and a growing sense of freedom, both social and sexual.
Throughout the course of the novel, Barnes, Ashley, and a host of other characters from this generation share their experiences traveling throughout Western Europe. The romantic interludes of several characters causes tension for others; the male characters are often juxtaposed with the action of the bullfights, which represent character traits this “lost generation” struggles to maintain a grasp on:
At the close of the novel, Barnes and Ashley reunite in a taxi, reminiscing about what “might have been”—the common thread between the world of Hemingway’s novel, and the world in which he himself lived.