Relationships are an important part of life. From general friendships to romantic encounters, almost everyone has had some type of relationship. Sometimes relationships can get confusing, especially when love is involved. Most people, such as Lady Brett Ashley, from The Sun Also Rises, feel that love and sex go hand in hand in a romantic relationship. Although it is apparent that she is in love with Jacob Barnes, the main character, since he is not able to have sex, she does not want to try having any type of romantic relationship with him. "You mustn't [touch her]. You must know. I can't stand it, that's all." (Hemingway, 34).
This idea that one is not able to love another unless there is sex involved leads Brett into many troubles. Since she is not able to have the type of relationship that she wants with Jake, she ends up going after men that are just not worth all the trouble, "she only wanted what she couldn't have."(39). She is in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, a man who has threatened her life on numerous occasions. She is engaged to another man who is habitually drunk and completely bankrupt. She even has affairs with random men that usually understand that it is nothing but a "fling" except for Robert Cohn who "wanted to make an honest woman of her." (205). Her fiancé seems to be all right with her lifestyle and all the various men when he is sober, but once he has drunk too much it is apparent that her flings mean more to him than he tries to let on. "I gave Brett what for, you know. I said if she would go about with Jews and bull-fighters and such people, she must expect trouble." (207). She makes a point of not hidin...
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...fe to the fullest without having to worry about relationships and not being able to have one. He understands that he is not able to have or do everything that he wants and so makes up for it by substituting other things that he can do, such as reading, playing tennis, fishing and watching bull-fighting. By having something to concentrate on, Jake does not have to worry about what he is not able to do and so can live his life the best way he knows how.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Bardacke, Theodore. "Hemingway's Women." Ernest Hemingway: The Man And His Work. ed. John McCaffery. New York: Cooper Square 1969
Bloom, Harold. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985.
Fiedler, Leslie A. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York: Stein & Day 1966
Hemingway, Ernest. "The Sun Also Rises" Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1926
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