WWI consumed the lives of millions. Those lucky enough to have lived through the war did not necessarily to get away unscathed. Many war survivors had lost a large chunk of something called hope. Hope feeds the soul and is the fuel for love. Hope also supplies meaning in a confusing world. Lacking hope and love, feelings of disillusionment, loneliness, inadequacy, and alienation were commonplace.
The characters in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises struggled with this, particularly Robert Cohn. Cohn was a ray of hope that people just couldn't bear. As in a dark room when someone opened the shade - the light hurts and one would rather close the shade than get used to the light. "It seems the bull-fighter chap was sitting on the floor. He was waiting to get strength enough to get up and hit Cohn again. Brett wasn't having any shaking hands, and Cohn was crying and telling her how much he loved her, and she was telling him not to be a ruddy ass. Then Cohn leaned over to shake hands with the bull-fighter fellow. No hard feelings, you know. All for forgiveness. And the bull-fighter chap hit him in the face again." As Mike spoke, he clearly showed us how much Cohn was pursuing Brett and how strongly everyone, including Brett, was rejecting and alienating him.
Robert Cohn was probably not even capable of truly being i...
... middle of paper ...
...e around him that had lost hope. Robert Cohn became the outcast for all others to exclude and spit upon to somehow feel superior. Cohn wasn't selling sex or cheap thrills drenched in alcohol. His wares were hope, the possibility of real love, and persistence. But no one could understand.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Bloom, Harold. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1993.
Svoboda, Frederic J. Hemingway and The Sun Also Rises: The Crafting of a Style. Kansas: The University Press of Kansas, 1983.
Young, Philip. "Ernest Hemingway." Encyclopedia International. v. 8, p.388-389. 1982 ed.
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