Relationships and Mechanical Processes in The Sun Also Rises
Relationships are an important part of life. From general friendships to romantic encounters, almost everyone has had some type of relationship. Sometimes relationships can get confusing, especially when love is involved. Most people, such as Lady Brett Ashley, from The Sun Also Rises, feel that love and sex go hand in hand in a romantic relationship. Although it is apparent that she is in love with Jacob Barnes, the main character, since he is not able to have sex, she does not want to try having any type of romantic relationship with him. "You mustn't [touch her]. You must know. I can't stand it, that's all." (Hemingway, 34).
This idea that one is not able to love another unless there is sex involved leads Brett into many troubles. Since she is not able to have the type of relationship that she wants with Jake, she ends up going after men that are just not worth all the trouble, "she only wanted what she couldn't have."(39). She is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, a man who has threatened her life on numerous occasions. She is engaged to another man who is habitually drunk and completely bankrupt. She even has affairs with random men that usually understand that it is nothing but a "fling" except for Robert Cohn who "wanted to make an honest woman of her." (205). Her fiancé seems to be all right with her lifestyle and all the various men when he is sober, but once he has drunk too much it is apparent that her flings mean more to him than he tries to let on. "I gave Brett what for, you know. I said if she would go about with Jews and bull-fighters and such people, she must expect trouble." (207). She makes a point of not hiding the affairs that she has from her fiancé, because she does care for him, but it is still not the best type of relationship to be involved in. Mostly because sometimes these "flings" become too attached to her and they just hang around all the time, trying to make something more out of it. "Brett's gone off with men. But they weren't ever Jews, and they didn't come and hang about afterwards."(148).
During the war Jake, the main character, had an accident that made having a romantic relationship nearly impossible with anyone but a nun. From this incident, Jake's views on life and love have become quite different from Brett's. He understands that love and sex do not have to go hand in hand, but he also knows that this combination is what most people desire in a relationship. He tries to stay away from any type of romantic relationship because of this knowledge and ventures only into platonic relationships with women. "Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have a basis of friendship." (152).
It is very difficult for Jake to have to live with only platonic relationships because he was able to have romantic relationships before the war and...