The Portrayal of Lady Brett Ashley as the Modern Woman of the 1920s in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

The Portrayal of Lady Brett Ashley as the Modern Woman of the 1920s in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

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Women of the 1920’s compared to women today are seen as very passive and were usually domestic wives whose main responsibility was to take care of the house and children. But throughout this decade, women were starting to slowly modernize and become more independent. In The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, Lady Brett Ashley is somewhat portrayed as “the admirable new woman” of the 1920’s-the woman who openly flaunts accepted conventions of the passive, dependent female role in society and emerges as a positive, inspiring, and risk-taking figure in Paris, Pamplona, and Madrid among the male expatriate artists. In the novel, we see Brett as a modern and somewhat inspiring woman through characterization and the analysis of specific moments from the novel.
The novel takes place in Paris, Pamplona and Madrid in the 1920’s. Jake wants to travel to Pamplona and see the bullfights and the running with the bulls.
To start off, Brett is a very masculine woman, but she is also very modern compared to many women in the 1920’s. She enjoys hanging out with other men drinking and smoking. She wears masculine clothes and even has a short cropped hairstyle. She refers to not only other people, but also herself, as “chap”. This is showed in the beginning of the book when we are first introduced to Brett at a bar. She comes up to Jake and starts having a conversation. During this conversation, she says: “Never going to get tight any more. I say, give a chap a brandy and soda” (Hemingway 18). In this quote, she is referring to herself as “chap”, in a way showing how she feels like she is “one of the guys”. Earlier in the conversation she also says: “Hello, you chaps” (Hemingway 18). This again showing how she acts masculine around her male fr...


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... is very bad at handling her love life. She constantly seeks help from Jake whenever she faces trouble on her way, and she keeps dragging into her life of dramatic and destructive love affairs. She knows that Jake wants to be with her, and she knows that he can’t because of his impotents, which is the reason she doesn’t want a real relationship with her, and still she tells him about all her lovers and all the men she falls in love with. This shows a major flaw in her personality as she is not very considerate about Jakes feelings and the difficulties she knows he is facing listening to her talking about her love affair. So to finalize, Brett portrays a admirable personalities who is able to take risks and be herself, but behind this portrayal, she is incapable of having a real relationship and keeps hurting the one person who loves her the most.








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