Ernest Hemingway Allegorical Figures in The Sun Also Rises Thesis: Hemingway deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun Also Rises as allegorical figures. OUTLINE I. The Sun Also Rises A. Hemingway’s novel. B. Hemingway’s protagonists are deliberately shaped as allegorical figures. C. Novel symbolizing the impotence after W.W.I. I. Jake Barnes. A. Wound. 1. Damaged genitalia. 2. Can’t make love. 3. Feels desire.
B. Wound is symbol of life in years after W.W.I. C. Wound from accident. 1. Accidents always happen. 2. Can’t prevent accidents. 3. “It was like certain dinners that I remember from the war. There was much wine and ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent.” D. Condition represents a peculiar form of impotence. E. Restrained romantic. F. Private grief with Cohn’s public suffering. G. Strongly attracted to Pedro Romero. H. Later, when Barnes says that he hates “homos” and wants to hit them.
II. Lady Brett Ashley. A. First appears with a group of homosexuals. B. Wears man’s hat on short hair. C. Refers to men as fellow “chaps”. D. All complete distortion of sexual roles. E. The war has turned Brett into the equality of a man. F. This is like Jakes demasculation. G. All releases her from her womanly nature. H. “Steps off of the romantic pedestal to stand beside her equals. III. Robert Cohn. A. Women dominate him.
B. Old fashioned romantic. C. Lives by what he reads. D. To feel like a man. 1. Boxes. a. Helps him to compensate for bad treatment from classmates. b. Turns him into an armed romantic. 2. Likes authority of editing and honor of writing, but is a bad editor and a poor novelist. E. Looks for internal strength in outward signs and sources. F. Willing to suffer publicly and to absorb insults for sake of true love. G. He is ready to fight for his lady and knocks down his opponent like a knight. 1. When he goes against Pedro for Brett. a. Brett tells him off. b. Pedro won’t fall. c. Brett stays with Pedro. d. Cohn is left alone. 2. Romantic hero met his match. 3. Shows difference between physical and moral victory. a. Pedro fights for dignity and his spirit is untouched by Cohn. b. Cohn’s spirit is crushed. H. Cohn based his manhood on skill at boxing or on a woman’s love, not on internal strength. IV. Pedro Romero. A. Manhood stands without women. B. Reason Barnes is attracted to him. C. “Cohn and Pedro are seen as extremes and Barnes remains the unhappy medium.” D. “Romero provides an image of integrity against which Barnes and his generation are weighed. From this point, Pedro can be seen as the real hero, man whose code gives meaning to a world where love and religion are defuncts, where the proofs of manhood are difficult and scarce, and where every man must learn to define his own moral condition and then live up to them. V. Summary. A. Hemingway purposely shaped the main characters in The Sun Also Rises as allegorical figures. B. Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley are two lovers desexed by the C. Robert Cohn is the false knight who challenges their despair. D. Pedro Romero personifies the good life which will survive their failure. The Sun Also Rises is a novel by Ernest Hemingway (1926). Hemingway deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun Also Rises as allegorical figures (Bloom, 1985, pp. 107). The novel symbolizes the impotence felt by the main characters after World War I. Jake Barnes, the narrator, had a wound from an “accident” that happened during the war. The injury damaged his genitalia. As a result, Barnes could no longer make love, but could still feel the desire. Barnes felt physically less than a man. Barnes made a comment about hating “homos”. This shows that Barnes was insecure about his masculinity. For this reason, he later found himself strongly attracted to the young bullfighter, Pedro Romero, whose manhood stood without women. The wound is a symbol of life in the years following World War I. It was used as a metaphor of the impotence felt after the war. The wound can also be seen as a parable that reminded Barnes constantly that accidents could always happen and could not be prevented. This can be seen in a passage from the novel. “It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine and ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening.” (Hemingway, 1926, p.146) Lady Brett Ashley was also an allegory of the impotence after the war. She first appeared with a group of homosexuals, she wore a man’s hat over her short hair, which gave her a masculine appearance, and she spoke of men as her fellow “chaps”. All completed the distortion of sexual roles and released her from her womanly nature (Bloom, 1985, p. 113). This is similar to Barnes’ condition. Brett stepped off of the romantic pedestal to stand beside her equals (Bloom, 1985, p. 118). Robert Cohn was an old fashioned romantic. He lived by what he read and neglected reality. Women dominated Cohn. To make him feel like a man, Cohn became a boxer. Boxing turned him into an “armed romantic” (Bloom, 1985, p. 108). Cohn became an editor and a novelist. He liked the authority of editing and the honor of writing, but was a bad editor and a poor novelist. He looked for internal strength in outward signs. Cohn always found himself ready to fight for a woman and when he did, he knocked down his opponent like a knight. However, when Cohn went against Pedro for Brett, Brett told him off, Pedro wouldn’t fall, Brett stayed with Pedro, and Cohn went home alone. This shows the difference between physical and moral victory. Pedro fought with dignity and his spirit remained untouched by Cohn; Cohn’s spirit was crushed (Bloom, 1985, p. 114). Cohn based his manhood on skill at boxing or on a woman’s love, not on internal strength. Cohn found that romantic love was dead. Pedro Romero’s manhood stood without women. This was the reason that Barnes was so attracted to him. “Cohn and Pedro are seen as extremes and Barnes remains the unhappy medium” (Bloom, 1985, p. 114) Romero provides an image of integrity against which Barnes and his generation are weighed. From this point, Pedro can be seen as the real hero, man whose code gives meaning to a world where love and religion are defuncts, where the proofs of manhood are difficult and scarce, and where every man must learn to define his own moral condition and then live up to them (Bloom, 1985, p. 118). Hemingway purposely shaped the main characters in The Sun Also Rises as allegorical figures. Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley were two lovers desexed by the war. Robert Cohn was the false knight who challenged their despair. Pedro Romero personified the good life which will survive their failure. References Baron’s Educational Series, Inc. (1984). The Sun Also Rises- The Story. [WWW]. URL http://www.kidzone.com:/ecc/sunalso3.htm Bloom, H. (ED.). (1985). Modern Critical Views: Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House Publishers Hemingway, E. (1926). The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons
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