WWI consumed the lives of millions. Those who lived through the war may have had only minor physical injuries or perhaps they were lucky enough to get away unharmed, but all of those who went home in the 1920s had lost an important feature in their life which was the importance of hope. The lack of hope hurt all the characters who experience the war in one way or another. Which, led to love being an empty word to the affected characters. These affected characters search for happiness in sex and in drunkenness and in superficial human relationships for the fulfillment that they were missing. Robert Cohn was about the only one who showed some kind of hope, but this hope seemed to bother the other characters. Of course the hope that Cohn demonstrated was that of hoping for some kind of respond from Brett.
Robert Cohn was probably not even capable of truly being in love. He had severe self-esteem problems in college. "He took it out in boxing, and he came out of Princeton with painful self-consciousness and the flattened nose, and was married to the first girl who was nice to him."(4) Cohn was looking for love and thought he could find it in a girl who would care for him. All of the characters seem to be dealing with this same issue. Cohn, however, dealt with his problems in a different way. "He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority an...
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