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Though Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall are written by two different authors, they share similar content and themes. In The Sun Also Rises, Brett desires Jake but cannot commit as a result of Jake's impotence. Similarly, in Decline and Fall, Margot cannot commit to Paul because of his time in jail. Both men seem to be infatuated with someone who does not share the same interests in their relationship. These relationships are hollow, showing no emotion and are only based on sex.
In The Sun Also Rises, Brett claims she does not want to get involved with Jake, yet the underlying truth is more evident through her actions. While driving around the city, Brett and Jake have a deep discussion about their relationship. Brett says, "Don't touch me" (25). However, when Jake asks if she loves him, she responds, "Love you? I simply turn all to jelly when you touch me"(26). Their conversation becomes ironic when Brett says, "When I think of all the hell I've put chaps through. I'm paying for it now" (26).
After hurting so many men, who she could not love, she is now being hurt by someone who could not love her. Later on in the novel, Brett visits Jake's apartment. After a conversation, Jake feels desperate and asks Brett. "couldn't we just live together?" (55). Brett responds by saying, " I don't think so. I'd just tromper...stand it" (55).
Although it is quite evident that Brett wants to be with Jake, she still does not encourage the idea of living together. She openly admits that she will cheat on him if this was to ever happen. Jake's jealously is certainly displayed when Robert defends Brett. Jake tells Robert that Brett did not love any of the men she had married in the past. Robert tells Jake, "I didn't ask you to insult her" (39). By the end of their argument, one may feel a sense of pity for Robert and his childish behaviour. However, Jake feels more than pity for Robert; he feels a sense of anger and jealousy towards the man who is about to make a pass at the woman he loves. When Brett tells Jake that she is going to San Sebastian to get away from him, Jake abases himself and asks her if he can go too.
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In Decline and Fall, Paul is introduced to Margot though her son, Peter. Paul's feelings for Margot spark during the Sports, where they are formally introduced. After Margot "asks Paul to call on her in London" (87), Paul suddenly becomes interested in her, asking Grimes all sorts of questions regarding her. Paul even goes as far as questioning Margot's previous husband, asking, "Has Mr. Beste-Chetwynde been dead for long?" (88). These questions not only show Paul's interest in Margot, but a slight hint of his future infatuation with her is somewhat shown. During Peter's organ lessons, Peter brings up a letter that Margot has written to him. In it, Margot requests "don't you think...have a tutor...that good-looking young master...care to come?" (95). Paul happily accepts the offer and begins to tutor Peter privately. As he arrives to Margot's house, Paul's feelings and attractions for her become more intense as he recognizes that she is "a thousand times more beautiful...recollections of her" (124). Later on in the novel, Margot asks Paul that he stay with her and not go back to the school. She says, "I can't bear to think of you going back to that awful school" (134). In reality, Margot cannot bear the thought of being alone. Moreover, she prefers someone who is younger, who will allow herself to feel more youthful. After knowing Margot for a short while, he already considers destroying his career and future for her. As the novel goes on, Paul eventually proposes to Margot, and like Jake, he makes a very desperate attempt to have the hand of the woman he loves. Margot responds to the proposal by saying, "I haven't said...tell you in the morning"(136). Paul degrades himself by pleading, "No, tell me now...you do like me a little...please marry me soon" (137). As Paul's and Margot's wedding day arrives, Paul is suddenly arrested for crimes which Margot is responsible for. While he is kept in prison, Peter pays him a visit. He tells Paul that "Margot would do anything to help...you can't imagine Mamma in prison can you?" (161). Peter indirectly implies that Paul should serve the punishment for Margot, while she marries another man. Paul's unconditional love and infatuation for Margot results in him serving the sentence. Unfortunately, Margot's "undying love" for Paul withers away and Paul is left overthrown.
Though Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, and Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall are written by two different authors, they share similar content and themes. In The Sun Also Rises, Brett desires Jake but cannot commit a result of Jake's impotence. Similarly, in Decline and Fall, Margot cannot commit to Paul because of his time in jail. Both men seem to be infatuated with someone who does not share the same interests in their relationship. These relationships are hollow, showing no emotion and are only based on sex. Love is a powerful word, defining faith, purpose, and commitment-- values that neither party possess.