Jake And Brett In "The Sun Also Rises": Victims Of There Own Environment Or Tragically Bringing Upon There Own Demise?

2046 words - 8 pages

Ernest Hemingway in The Sun Also Rises tried to convey that his characters were not truly “lost” as everyone had come to believe, though only worn down by life’s hardships (Wagner, 1). Mental and physical destruction were side affects that resulted from World War I (Bloom, 1). The title of the book, The Sun Also Rises, even submitted hope to the character’s futures (Wagner, 1). In fact, the characters had enough courage to fight against society and try to uncover the truth or hope within them (Wagner, 1). Jake, a soldier from World War 1, was one of many who come back home with an altered man, with a different view on life.
Brett, who had never stepped foot on a battle field, was shredded from her lover because of the impossible relationship that circumstances thrust upon them. Who is to blame for the tragic situations that had fallen onto Jake and Brett? Were they unfortunate victims of the uncontrollable environment that the government had prevailed upon them? Or were they themselves in the end the cause for there own gloomy collapse? Throughout the issues that face each of the characters, many found alcohol, church, or sexual activity as a way to blind them from their ill-fated positions.
Following the war, Jake had a rather cynical outlook towards life; he never seemed to find the hope he is looking for. Jake, an impotent man as a result from the war, also could not have sexual pleasure as everyone else around him. Usually, Jake was very straightforward with his thoughts speech, and actions (Hinkle, 13). Jake even told many people, mostly his friends, to “go to hell,” once to Mike, and even twice to Cohn (Hinkle, 13). Jake was crude in his speech and did not seem to care of his personal appearance to others. In the beginning of the book, Jake even offered a prostitute to hang out with him. As a joke, Jake introduced the prostitute to his friends as his fiancée. All of his friends, except one innocent woman, caught the joke and some even knew the prostitute. In that scene is seems as though Jake was playing pretend with everyone. Jake pretends that the prostitute is his wife and one has to wonder if in that moment if Jake himself was wishing to have a wife as if imagining what the experience of being married was like. Jake’s lack of narration concerning his impotence leaves readers not completely thinking or understanding what Jake’s disability exactly is; instead, Jake chattered about other characters lives’ and problems (Wagner, 3). Presumably though, Jake probably does not even think of the wound much himself, except when pitying himself. It is often wondered if Jake looked for mistakes in others to make up for what he himself did not have. It could be assumed that Jake is a jerk to others to make up for his own problems. Despite all of his troubles, Jake had one woman that was always held within his heart, Brett.
Brett, Jake’s fantasy and his restriction, could be described as promiscuous and a masculine acting type of girl. Brett...

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