The Sun Also Rises The Sun Also Rises is a novel that depicts the lost generation of adults that live in the years following the Great War. These individuals have lost their belief in God and in the after-life. Because of their loss of touch with reality, they seemingly stumble through their lives, living for each day. The book centers around the Jake and Brett and their friends. These characters certainly live only for the day that is now.
Through their actions and the situations that they create, Hemmingway uses them to express the feelings that he personally felt during the era. The first thing that the characters represent is the impotency of life. Through the character of Jake, who is impotent, Hemmingway shows the hopelessness and pointlessness of life. In the story, Jake is unable to have Brett, his love, due to the fact that he is impotent. Therefore, he tries to support her and help her in her endeavors. However, he always maintains his love for her, which shows that his actions have a superficial quality to them.
This represents the feelings of Hemmingway that the period is fake and useless. Through Jake and his aims and feelings, Hemmingway is able to represent the helplessness of the people of the time to deal with their problems and go through them. Instead, they ran from them and pushed them aside but never out of the way. Hemmingway himself did this by withdrawing from society. Because of the general feeling that life was meaningless and did not affect the future, the people of the period lived for today and never planned for tomorrow.
They felt that once death came, life was over and there was nothing else. The Great War had instilled in them that there was no God, or if there was, he was not watching. Thus, they lived for only what they saw or wanted today. This is evident in the story through the fact that all the characters simply drink to pass time. It is also shown through the way that Brett has no problem sleeping with several partners during the story.
These examples show that the people of the time were definitely living for the day and that death was nothing. Another feeling that the characters of the story were looking for was a feeling of belonging. They all bonded together in order to pass their time drinking and having a good time. They felt alienated by the society from which they came from. Because the Great War had created a lost generation, which withdrew from the societies and cultures that had created the tragedy of the war, many of the people comprising these alienated groups simply looked for a place to belong. These people searched for those who felt the same way to live for the day.
This is evident in the story through the fact that all the characters are together to simply live for the day and to belong to a group that enjoys the same things. For example, the characters go together on vacation to Spain in order to watch the bullfights. They all drink together and share many of the same feelings toward society. Basically, they have bonded together to withdraw from society and live in a way that reflects the feelings that they have for the culture and the Great War and all the extra feelings that come with it all. These feelings require the quality of courage in order to deal with them.
It takes courage for the characters of the story to go on after all that they have seen and dealt with during the Great War. Especially in the case of Jake, who has lost his fertility and with it his feeling of manhood. He is forced to redefine what his meaning of masculinity is and to deal with the fact that he can never have Brett. It takes Jake tremendous courage to deal with all his feelings. It probably takes courage for all the characters to even get up in the morning into a world of which they feel alienated. Each character is involved in their lifestyle due to the fact that they have in some way been affected greatly by the Great War and it takes courage for them to go on after all the horror and death that they have seen in their lives.
This book effectively represents the feelings of the time and the feelings of Hemmingway. However, it is difficult to relate the book to todays society due to the fact that the Great War occurred over eighty years ago. Therefore, even though it describes the lives of the characters and their feelings, relating these feelings to what caused them is hard. Nevertheless, it is easy to see the correlation between the feelings that are shown in the story and the actions that they cause the characters to take in the novel. Therefore, despite the fact that I found the book boring at times, in retrospect, I feel that it effectively accomplished the mission that Hemmingway intended it to complete.
Thus, I feel that the book was good in the feelings it expressed, but below par in its mode of communication to the reader. English Essays.