Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Sun Also Rises

Major Characters of This Novel:

Jake Barnes  

Lady Brett Ashley 

Robert Cohn 

Bill Gorton Mike Pedro Romero 



Count Mippipopolous




Harvey Stone 

Background: Ernest Hemingway is a famous author in American Literature. He has created many novels, poems, fictions and short stories. The Sun Also Rises is one of the great creations. It is written in 1926. Biographer of Hemingway Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work" and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel. The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by the publishing house Scribner's. A year later, the London publishing house Jonathan Cape published the novel with the title of Fiesta.

Somebody think that, Hemingway intended to write a non-fiction book about bullfighting but thought that the week's experiences had presented him with enough material for a novel. So he began writing the novel on his birthday in 1925, and finished the draft manuscript barely two months later. The source of the novel was Hemingway's 1925 trip to Spain. The setting was unique and memorable.

The novel is a love story between the protagonist Jake Barnes—a man whose war wound has made him impotent—and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley. The characters of this novel are based on real people and the action is based on real events. In the novel, Hemingway presents his concept that the "Lost Generation", degenerate and permanently damaged by World War I . Furthermore, he investigates the themes of love, death, renewal in nature, and the nature of masculinity.

Plot Summary: Jake Barnes is the protagonist of The Sun Also Rises. He is also an expatriate American journalist living in Paris. Jake suffered a war wound that has caused him to be impotent. He is in love with Lady Brett Ashley. Brett embodies the new sexual freedom of the 1920s, having had numerous love affairs. In the opening scenes, Jake plays tennis with his college friend Robert Cohn, picks up a prostitute (Georgette), and runs into Brett and Count Mippipopolous in a nightclub.
Cohn had an affair with Brett a year earlier and still feels possessive of her despite her engagement to Mike. Jake and Bill enjoy five days of tranquility, fishing the streams near Burguete, after which they rejoin the group in Pamplona, where they begin to drink heavily. During the fiesta the characters drink, eat, watch the running of the bulls, attend bullfights, and bicker with each other. Jake introduces Brett to Romero at Montoya's inn; she is smitten with the 19-year-old matador and seduces him. The jealous tension between the men builds; Mike, Jake, Cohn, and Romero each love Brett. Cohn, who had been a champion boxer in college, has fistfights with Jake, Mike, and Romero, whom he injures. At last Bill returns to Paris, Mike stays in Bayonne, and Jake goes to San Sebastián in northeastern Spain. Lady Brett Ashley announces she has decided to go back to Mike.

Major themes
The themes of The Sun Also Rises are apparent from its two epigraphs. The first is an allusion to the "Lost Generation and the other epigraph is a long quotation from Ecclesiastes. He thought the major characters in The Sun Also Rises may have been battered but was not lost. The book can be read either as a novel about bored expatriates or as a morality tale about a protagonist who searches for integrity in an immoral world.
Lost Generation:
Hemingway captures the angst of the age and transcends Brett and Jake's love story, although they are representative of the period: Brett is starved for reassurance and love and Jake is sexually maimed. His wound symbolizes the disability of the age, the disillusion, and the frustrations felt by an entire generation. While living in Paris, Hemingway thought he lost touch with American values, but his biographer Michael Reynolds claims the opposite, seeing evidence of the author's midwestern American values in the novel. Hemingway admired hard work. He portrayed the matadors and the prostitutes, who work for a living, in a positive manner, but Brett, who prostitutes herself, is emblematic of "the rotten crowd" living on inherited money.  It is Jake, the working journalist, who pays the bills again and again when those that can pay do not. Hemingway shows, through Jake's actions, his disapproval of people who did not pay up. Reynolds says that Hemingway shows the tragedy, not so much of the decadence of the Montparnasse crowd, but of the self-destruction of American values of the period. Jake becomes the moral center of the story. He never considers himself part of the expatriate crowd because he is a working man.

Women and love:
Lady Brett Ashley represented the liberated New Woman and in her Hemingway created a character who reflected her time. Sexually promiscuous, she is a denizen of Parisian nightlife and cafés. In Pamplona she is out of her element and causes chaos: in her presence, the men drink too much and fight; she seduces the young bullfighter; she becomes a Circe in the festival. Critics define her variously as complicated, elusive, and enigmatic. She is vulnerable, forgiving, and independent.  Jake and Brett, in spite of their love, have a relationship that becomes destructive because the love cannot be consummated. Brett destroys Jake's friendship with Cohn, and in Pamplona she ruins his hard-won reputation among the Spaniards. Meyers sees Brett as a woman who wants sex without love while Jake can only give her love without sex. Although Brett sleeps with many men, it is Jake she loves. Dana Fore writes that Brett is willing to be with Jake in spite of his disability, in a "non-traditional erotic relationship". By the end of the novel, although Jakes loves Brett he appears to undergo a transformation in Madrid when he begins to distance himself from her. Reynolds believes that Jake represents the "everyman" and that in the course of the narrative he loses his honor, faith, and hope.
The Nature, the fiesta and corrida:  It's a great tragedy—and the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and takes more guts and skill and guts again than anything possibly could. It's just like having a ringside seat at the war with nothing going to happen to you." He demonstrated what he considered the purity in the culture of bullfighting and presented it as an authentic way of life, contrasted against the inauthenticity of the Parisian bohemians. He was profoundly affected by the spectacle of bullfighting, writing, "It isn't just brutal like they always told us to be accepted as an aficionado was rare for a non-Spaniard; Jake goes through a difficult process to gain acceptance.  Hemingway considered the bullring as war with precise rules, in contrast to the messiness of the real war that he, and by extension Jake, experienced. Critic Keneth Kinnamon notes that young Romero is the novel's only honorable character. Before the group arrives in Pamplona, Jake, Bill and Cohn take a fishing trip to the Irate River. As Harold Bloom points out, the scene serves as an interlude between the Paris and Pamplona sections, "an oasis that exists outside linear time". More importantly, on another level it reflects "the mainstream of American fiction beginning with the Pilgrims seeking refuge from English oppression"—the prominent theme in American literature of escaping into the wilderness, as seen in CooperHawthorneMelvilleTwain, and Thoreau. Furthermore, nature is where men are without women: men fish, men hunt, men find redemption. In nature Jake and Bill do not need to discuss the war because their war experience, paradoxically, is ever-present. The nature scenes also serve as counterpoint to the fiesta scenes. All of the characters drink heavily during the fiesta and generally throughout the novel. In Hemingway's writing, nature is a place of refuge and rebirth, according to Stoltzfus, where the hunter or fisherman gains a moment of transcendence at the moment the prey is killed.
Elliot believes that Hemingway viewed homosexuality as an imitation way of life, but he supports Jake with homosexual men because, like them, he does not have sex with women. Jake's anger shows his self-hatred at his inauthenticity and lack of masculinity. His sense of masculine identity is lost—he is less than a man. Hemingway's writing has been called homophobic. For example, in the fishing scenes, Bill confesses his fondness for Jake but then goes on to say, "I couldn't tell you that in New York. It'd mean I was a faggot. Romero is the symbol of masculine identity; at the bullring Jake can only be a spectator. The Davidsons write that Romero reflects the code of masculinity in his bravery, and that Brett is attracted to him for this reason.  Romero is the symbol of masculine identity; at the bullring Jake can only be a spectator. The Davidsons write that Romero reflects the code of masculinity in his bravery, and that Brett is attracted to him for this reason.
Writing Style: there is no hesitation to say that the novel is well-known for its style, which is variously described as modern, hard-boiled, or understated. From Pound Hemingway learned to write in the modernist style: he used irony, pared away sentimentalism, and presented images and scenes without explanations of meaning, most noticeably at the book's conclusion, in which multiple Hemingway scholar Anders Hallengren writes that because Hemingway learned from Pound to "distrust adjectives" he created a style "in accordance with the esthetics and ethics of raising the emotional temperature towards the level of universal truth by shutting the door on sentiment, on the subjective. Although the novel is written in a journalistic style, Frederic Svoboda writes that the striking thing about the work is "how quickly it moves away from a simple recounting of events". Jackson Benson believes that Hemingway used autobiographical details as framing devices for life in general.
Balassi says Hemingway applied the iceberg theory better in The Sun Also Rises than in any of his other works, by editing away extraneous material or purposely leaving gaps in the story. He made editorial remarks in the manuscript that show he wanted to break from the stricture of Gertrude Stein's advice to use "clear restrained writing". In the earliest draft the novel begins in Pamplona, but Hemingway moved the opening setting to Paris because he thought the Montparnasse life was necessary as a counterpoint to the later action in Spain. 
Source: (Wikipedia, Text Book, Note Book and My Own Practice) 

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