The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

957 Words4 Pages
Ernest Hemingway makes a point to address the “New Woman” in the post war world through out his novel “The Sun Also Rises”. As Jake and friends wander through life as the lost generation they all face individual and group struggles with their promiscuous friend Brett, also known as Lady Ashley. Through Brett, Hemingway portrays a theme of anti-feminism and emasculation through the way Brett looks, acts, and the relationship she has with Jake in particular along with other male characters. In addition, there is an element of insecurity among central male characters that produces an atmosphere of competition, rivalry, and mutual harassment. With this as a base, Brett’s manner only fuel tensions between the male characters and in the process leads to their emasculation through each individuals pursuit of Brett.

The first character is Cohn, he is a determined writer and after writing his first novel, he has feeling of conquest and determination. Hemingway opens with an illustrated view of Cohn to show a clear example of a dominant male figure who has much insecurity. Hemingway describes how Cohn took his anger and aggression out through boxing, a very maculate form of aggression and power. Hemingway plays up the tensions of competition and jealousies to demonstrate just how uncertain his male characters are with themselves and one another. The shared sense of insecurity among many of the book’s central male characters suggests a redefinition of masculinity post-WWI and Brett exemplifies these traits each man displays.

Brett’s true character and intentions are truly exhibited in Hemingway’s illustration of Brett’s’ actions. Brett’s emasculation of the men around her is fully shown throughout the novel. She is first introduced to ...

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...here alone.” (107) Despite Jakes frustrations with Brett, he still is feeble minded and goes running back to Brett who he finds comfort in. In Jakes mind Brett can do no wrong, even though Jake and the other male characters in the novel are blinded by Brett’s true intentions.

Overall Hemingway makes a point to address the idea of the “New Woman” as making an example of her life style choices. The post war woman displays traits of promiscuity and pays less attention to the emotions of the men around them who long for their attention. In particular Brett no longer cares about love, but instead has turned her attention to living a life full of freedom and spontaneity. Throughout the novel, any man cannot tame Brett. She embodies this idea of a “New Woman” because she does what she wants without acknowledging the repercussion that will follow from her actions.
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