One of the only characters in The Sun Also Rises that is truly candid about his emotions is Robert Cohn, much to the vexation of his supposed “friends.” Since Cohn is the only member of the novel’s Lost Generation friend group that didn’t participate in the war, it makes sense that he does not share the others’ difficulty of disclosing the way certain things or events make him feel. Cohn outright tells Jake in the beginning of the novel that Jake’s playful insults are actually hurtful, much to Jake’s disgust. Jake is also alarmed and uncomfortable when he finds Robert Cohn crying over Brett after their fistfight, and he grants Cohn forgiveness and hurriedly leaves him. Because of Robert Cohn’s candor, he is often the brunt of ridicule from the other male characters, most notably Mike. Mike’s ridiculing of Cohn increases constantly throughout the novel, usually at times when he sees he is unable to control Brett, and this seems to be his release since he isn’t able to fully communicate his emotions. For instance, after watching the first bull fight Mike makes a slur implying that Robert Cohn has no testicles just like the emaciated steers used to calm the bulls. “ 'It’s no life being a steer,’ Robert Coh...
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...s only protecting his younger friend and he isn’t necessarily doing anything homophobic, the fact that homosexual tendencies equates “evil” in his mind just goes to illustrate the anti-gay, anti-effeminate mentality of the times.
The “ideal” American man has always been a figure of strength, stoicism, and sexual prowess; while this may somewhat still be the case, there has been a great increase in tolerance and acceptance for all types of men in U.S. society. This is thanks, in part, to literary works such as The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy bringing awareness to the absurdity of stereotypical male expectations. Through their use of hyper-masculine characters, emotionally devoid writing styles, and extreme homophobia, these classic American novels bring awareness to the destructive effects of male gender roles.
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- In Earnest Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises, the character Jake Barnes is the narrator and important character in this novel. The narrator, or Jake, describes the people around him from his point of view, and also adds in his own dialogue or interactions with the other characters. These characters are experienced through the biases of the narrator. In this character analysis, three main features about Jake Barnes stand out. That he is a veteran of World War I who is suffering from an injury; Jake, out of his friend group, is the only one who works for a living; and Jake’s character represents the “Lost Generation” (“the generation of men and women who came of age during or immediately fo... [tags: Ernest Hemingway, Love, The Sun Also Rises]
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