The Theme of Love in "The Sun Also Rises"
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Love is a universal language; it is something that everyone understands. It does not necessarily have to be spoken of; instead it can be shown through people’s action. In most novels love is an unseen character yet it plays this strong force that moves the story along. Ernest Hemingway writes about a group of people who are trapped in a wearisome game of love. In The Sun Also Rises Jake Barnes, the protagonist, is a journalist whose war injury causes him to be handicapped. He is madly in love with Lady Brett who loves him in return. However, they cannot complete their relationship because of Jake’s injury. Therefore all he can do is helplessly watch as Brett dates other men. Their forbidden love is similar to the story of Romeo and…show more content…
This is because the woman he loves brought another man while she knows that he loves her. Hemingway did not have to describe the anger or frustration Jake was encountering instead he used dialogue to show us how angry was. Hemingway also uses dialogue as a way to distinguish a specific class in society. On page 69, Brett introduces an African drummer to Jake. This African drummer lived in France for a decent amount of time, however due to his poor education his dialect is slurred. I think that his skin color probably placed him on the bottom of the social ladder contributing to his poor education.
Imagery also plays a significant role in this story. Unlike many authors Hemingway’s descriptions are simple. His imagery also enables the reader to understand the characters’ feelings. “Her eyes looked flat again” (35), Hemingway uses Brett’s eyes to describe her unhappiness. Throughout the novel the readers can “see” the way Brett feels through her eyes. Hemingway specifically uses her eyes to describe her emotions, while he uses dialogue for other characters. Hemingway also uses vivid and simple words to illustrate the setting. “[…]rolling and grassy[…]the grass was short from the sheep grazing” (121). Although his imagery is straightforward it allows the audience to experience a more realistic setting, rather than a over-the-top setting. His imagery also allows room for imagination, in many cases
1924: Paris, France; Burguete, Spain; Pamplona, Spain; Madrid, Spain
We'll always have Paris: the first few chapters of the novel take place in a loosely fictionalized version of the famous community of expatriate writers and artists that Hemingway really lived in during the 1920's.
After the war, Paris became a mecca for English and American writers, including Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Sherwood Anderson, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound, among others. Jake and his friends move through the same world that Hemingway did, and they frequent the same bars, cafés, and nightclubs. Hemingway depicts the atmosphere in Paris ambivalently: it’s exciting but exhausting, simultaneously clean and dirty, thrilling and banal, and filled with a sense of unease and illness. Jake’s refuge is his newspaper office, where he can shut out the world and focus on his work.
Next up: Spain. We move through three locations in Spain, with varying degrees of country and city. First, Bill and Jake go to Burguete, a small country town where they fish and enjoy nature. This section is significant for its difference from the rest of the novel—the purity of the landscape, combined with their escape from the other characters, makes the fishing trip an exhilarating experience for both men.
But they soon move on to Pamplona, a small city famous for its bull-fights, where they meet up with the rest of the gang for the fiesta of San Fermin. The transition from countryside to fiesta is like Mike’s fall into bankruptcy: gradual, then all at once. When the fiesta really gets going, with its continual drunkenness and sense of lawlessness, the setting takes on an almost nightmarish quality.
Finally, after a brief stop to recover by the seaside at San Sebastian, Jake is drawn back into the nightmare urban space of Madrid, where he goes to comfort Brett after she ends her relationship with Romero. He experiences a kind of emotional numbness in this other city, caused by his own guilt over Brett and Romero’s affair. It’s important that Hemingway returns us to a purely urban setting for this last scene—its bleakness is emphasized by the distance from nature.