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The Sun Also Rises Essay

1952 words - 8 pages

In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway reveals the disillusionment, immorality, and hedonistic attitudes of the members of the post World War One Lost Generation. Disillusionment is shown by characters through their search for fulfillment. Secondly, immorality is expressed through a select few people who seem to have difficulty in making moral decisions. Lastly, all of the members carry a hedonistic attitude in which their priorities are backwards.Hemingway writes this novel to explain what he encountered during his travel to Europe in 1925. The characters are models of real people that Hemingway spent time with in Europe and he writes of them as "disillusioned, spiritually numb American expatriates." (Bailey and Kennedy 763) Because of Hemingway's detailed writings on his observance of these people, critic Sibbie O'Sullivan perceives The Sun Also Rises as "a modern-day courtesy book on how to behave in the waste land Europe had become after the Great War." (Ciccarelli, et al. 324) Disillusionment is a main characteristic in those of who were parts of the Lost Generation. Hemingway, a member of the Lost Generation, realizes the disillusionment of the people in Europe when he visits there in 1925. Along with other authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thornton Wilder, and Hart Crane, Ernest Hemingway left the United States to go to Europe to work as a newspaper or magazine writer, as well as take advantage of the exchange rate. These authors and other expatriates became known as the Lost Generation during the 1920s and 1930s. The disillusionment of these people of the Lost Generation was caused because they were in constant search of fulfillment and happiness, although most never achieve either. Couples couldn't keep steady relationships, and individuals had difficulty making decisions to make themselves happy.American expatriates in the novel such as Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, Robert Cohn, and Frances Clyne all left America for Paris after World War One. They were "seeking desperately for some unattainable happiness or fulfillment." (Concise 96) They thought that relationships with each other would satisfy their needs, but they were wrong. (Concise 96) Jake Barnes and Lady Brett were undoubtedly in love with each other, but their relationship would never last. The reasoning behind this is the simple fact the Jake could not consummate their love due to an injury in battle. Jake and Brett try to work things out but it is impossible. They meet with each other and Brett decides they must not be together after Jake tries to touch her because she believes things won't work out: "You mustn't. You must know. I can't stand it, that's all. Oh darling, please understand!" "Don't you love me?" "Love you? I simply turn all to jelly when you touch me." "Isn't there anything we can do about it?" "I don't know, I don't want to go through that hell again. We'd better keep away from each other." (Hemingway 26) These two people, in love, were disillusioned by...

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