Disillusionment Essay

893 words - 4 pages

Ernest Hemingway is an American twentieth century novelist who served in World War I. During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver for the Italian army. He wrote the novel The Sun Also Rises in Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway argues that the Lost Generation suffered immensely after World War I because of severe problems with masculinity, alcohol, and love.
Masculinity creates a strong tension amongst the male characters in The Sun Also Rises.
The clearest example is the impotency of the main character Jake Barnes. Jake explains to Georgette how he was hurt during the war in order to prevent her from becoming infatuated with him (Hemingway 22). The battle wound rendered Jake ...view middle of the document...

Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all nice people” (135). The wine provided a much-needed relief from the stress Jake and the face; drinking temporarily worked to avoid their responsibilities. Brett describes being drunk as being “blind” which can be literally and metaphorically interpreted because she loses her power of speech and her sight (Newlin 9). She loses her speech because she begins to slur words; she loses her sight because she did not care about what went on. Although drinking is mostly viewed negatively, it can be positive. For example, during Jake and Bill’s fishing trip they relax and enjoy wine together in a healthy bonding experience (114). They drink wine together, but they do not indulge. This experience brings them closer together. Alcohol also adds to the complexity of love.
In an effort to forget the war, Jake and his friends try to use love as an escape mechanism; however, their romantic relationships are largely unsuccessful. Robert Cohn is originally dating a controlling woman named Frances. Frances controls him, and he does not, or cannot stand up to her; a strong woman dominates a weak man which is a common trend throughout the novel. Jake is thoroughly in love with Brett. Jake dwells on his lover for her and tries to kill it off by picturing her with other men, and he concludes that she can hurt him no longer, though he reveals that he is lying to himself (Newlin 8). Jake says he is over her, but his actions show otherwise. Jake is actually blinded by love. Brett...

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