The Sun Also Rises: Hemingways Depiction Of The Traditional Hero The H
This essay The Sun Also Rises: Hemingways Depiction Of The Traditional Hero The H has a total of 2616 words and 9 pages.
The Sun Also Rises: Hemingway's depiction of the traditional hero The Hemingway Hero Prevalent among many of Ernest Hemingway's novels is the concept popularly known as the ?Hemingway hero?, an ideal character readily accepted by American readers as a ?man's man?. In The Sun Also Rises, four different men are compared and contrasted as they engage in some form of relationship with Lady Brett Ashley, a near-nymphomaniac Englishwoman who indulges in her passion for sex and control. Brett plans to marry her fiancee for superficial reasons, completely ruins one man emotionally and spiritually, separates from another to preserve the idea of their short-lived affair and to avoid self-destruction, and denies and disgraces the only man whom she loves most dearly. All her relationships occur in a period of months, as Brett either accepts or rejects certain values or traits of each man. Brett, as a dynamic and self-controlled woman, and her four love interests help demonstrate Hemingway's standard definition of a man and/or masculinity. Each man Brett has a relationship with in the novel possesses distinct qualities that enable Hemingway to explore what it is to truly be a man. The Hemingway man thus presented is a man of action, of self-discipline and self-reliance, and of strength and courage to confront all weaknesses, fears, failures, and even death. Jake Barnes, as the narrator and supposed hero of the novel, fell in love with Brett some years ago and is still powerfully and uncontrollably in love with her. However, Jake is unfortunately a casualty of the war, having been emasculated in a freak accident. Still adjusting to his impotence at the beginning of the novel, Jake has lost all power and desire to have sex. Because of this, Jake and Brett cannot be lovers and all attempts at a relationship that is sexually fulfilling are simply futile. Brett is a passionate, lustful woman who is driven by the most intimate and loving act two may share, something that Jake just cannot provide her with. Jake's emasculation only puts the two in a grandly ironic situation. Brett is an extremely passionate woman but is denied the first man she feels true love and admiration for. Jake has loved Brett for years and cannot have her because of his inability to have sex. It is obvious that their love is mutual when Jake tries to kiss Brett in their cab ride home: ??You mustn't. You must know. I can't stand it, that's all. Oh darling, please understand!', ?Don't you love me?', ?Love you? I simply turn all to jelly when you touch me'? (26, Ch. 4). This scene is indicative of their relationship as Jake and Brett hopelessly desire each other but realize the futility of further endeavors. Together, they have both tried to defy reality, but failed. Jake is frustrated by Brett's reappearance into his life and her confession that she is miserably unhappy. Jake asks Brett to go off with him to the country for bit: ??Couldn't we go off in the country for a while?', ?It wouldn't be any good. I'll go if you like. But I couldn't live quietly in the country. Not with my own true love', ?I know', ?Isn't it rotten? There isn't any use my telling you I love you', ?You know I love you', ?Let's not talk. Talking's all bilge'? (55, Ch. 7). Brett declines Jake's pointless attempt at being together. Both Brett and Jake know that any relationship beyond a friendship cannot be pursued. Jake is still adjusting to his impotence while Brett will not sacrifice a sexual relationship for the man she loves. Since Jake can never be Brett's lover, they are forced to create a new relationship for themselves, perhaps one far more dangerous than that of mere lovers - they have become best friends. This presents a great difficulty for Jake, because Brett's presence is both pleasurable and agonizing for him. Brett constantly reminds him of his handicap and thus Jake is challenged as a man in the deepest, most personal sense possible. After the departure of their first meeting, Jake feels miserable: ?This was Brett, that I had felt like crying about. Then I thought of her walking up the street and of course in a little
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