Themes in The Sun Also Rises Essay

Themes in The Sun Also Rises Essay

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Themes in The Sun Also Rises



One theme that I found recurring throughout the novel, The Sun Also Rises by
Ernest Hemingway, was love. Lady Brett Ashley was a beautiful woman who seemed to
be irresistible to the men she became acquainted with. For example Robert Cohn, Bill
Gorton, Pedro Romero, Mike Campbell, and last but not least Jake Barnes. Brett was ex¬
tremely vulnerable to the charm that various men in her life seemed to smother her with.
Brett was not happy with her life or her surroundings and sought escape and refuge in the
arms of these men. All of these men had strong feelings for Brett. The only problem was
that Brett had no feelings for any of those men, except for Jake. The only reason Jake and
Brett were not together was due to a wound Jake received during the war. Jake's wound
made him impotent, incapable of making love. The torture of his wound, though, is that
he can still feel desire.
Jake and Brett could not love each other physically. They could not show each
other how much they truly loved one another. They both desperately want something that
they could not have due to Jake's injury. Neither Jake nor Brett were able to find any
satisfaction or completeness in love. Jake was defined by this wound. He was always
thinking about it, even when he did not seem to be. Whenever Jake was about to go to
bed, and his thoughts loosened, he thought about his wound and Brett. Jake was able to
feel love, but he could not express it or consummate it. Brett herself told Jake not to love
her because she would only deceive him. Love, for Brett, had become a power she con¬
trolled. It changed men but left her unaffected. Jake was tolerant of Brett's behavior be¬
cause he love...


... middle of paper ...


...s and at the same time fearful for their lives.
The title, The Sun Also Rises, is tied together with nature, earth, fear, courage,
and death. The earth along with nature goes on and does not stop for anything; when the
sun rises it is symbolic of a new beginning or a chance for one to start over. Many things
do occur that deter people from their purpose on earth and that is why each day is a
chance to change or fix something that has gone wrong in our lives. Brett had many
chances to change her ways and start over but for some reason she chose not to. Maybe it
was because no matter what she did, no matter how much trouble she got herself in, Jake
was always there to care for her, love her, and help her. If she was on her own she would
realize all of her mistakes and try to fix them or repent so she can be forgiven and move
on.

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