Author Research Paper

1791 words - 7 pages

Zhu, 1Peter ZhuMr. PelsterAP English Language and CompositionApril 7, 2014If Not Love, Then What?"True love always makes a man better, no matter what woman inspires it" as posited by Alexander Dumas. What the great French writer Dumas meant here is that one man's character is dependent on none other than true love. Yet, love itself, is too often arbitrarily obtained and meagerly sustained. The "truth of the matter" lies amongst the relationships found in the works of Ernest Hemingway (Gibran). Dumas's rather assertive view is contradicted through the relationships of the valiant soldier Frederic Henry and Catherine Baker, the dutiful demolitionist Robert Jordan and Maria, and the honest journalist Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. By closely juxtaposing primary male-dominating characters with secondary female supporting characters, Hemingway effectively demonstrates the potential for love to be subversive and undermining to one's happiness in his novels. In A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bells Tolls, and The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway utilizes the fragile and superficial relationships to prove that relationships built upon sexual lust will end in unhappiness, sufferings, and ultimately death.In The Sun Also Rises, the multiple affairs between Lady Brett Ashley and the other male characters exemplify the sexual promiscuousness of an attractive female to her male counterparts that eventually lead to unhappiness. The relationship between Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley is initially proven to be based upon sexual desires when Brett Ashley quickly disregards Jake as a potential husband because of his infertility. One afternoon at the local coffee shop, Jake says to Lady Brett Ashley,"You are getting damned romantic", and Brett Ashely responds "no, bored" (120). Jake's mere personality does not impress Brett Ashley as she yearns more for a man who is able to satisfy her sexual needs. Brett Ashley is sodetermined to satisfy this desire that she attracts three other male dominating characters,Zhu, 2Robert Cohn, Bill Gorton, and Pedro Romero. Because her main focus is to obtain a man who can sexually satisfy her, she constantly switches partners, feeling unhappy and dissatisfied. After Brett has a brief love affair with Pedro Romero, she comes back to Jake and explains, "I can't help it. I'm a goner. It's tearing me all up inside" (179). Brett Ashley finally faces the eventual sadness knowing that she will never find a man who can live up to her expectations. She becomes so upset with her life that she believes "this is Hell on Earth" (182). As Brett reflects on her past, she tells Jake, "Oh, Jake, we could have had such a damned good time together," "Yes," Jake said, "Isn't it pretty to think so?" (198). Brett failed to realize that Jake was the perfect match for her. Because she only focuses on sexual gratification, she misses the opportunity to experience a meaningful and happy relationship with Jake that does not rely on superficial needs of sex....

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