Madam Adam: Hemingways exploration of Man in The Sun Also Rises Itsreally an awfully simple operation, Jig, the man said. Its not reallyan operation at all.
Much of Hemingways body of work grows from issues ofmale morality. In his concise, Hills Like White Elephants, a couplediscusses getting an abortion while waiting for a train in a Spanish railstation bar. Years before Roe v. Wade, before the issues of abortion rights,mothers rights, and unborn childrens rights splashed across the Americanmass consciousness, Ernest Hemingway assessed the effects of abortion on arelationship, and, more specifically, he examined a mans role in determiningthe necessity of the procedure and its impact on his psyche and his ability tolove.Order now
The Sun Also Rises continues the investigation of the morality of being aman in longer, more foundational form. Rather than dealing with such a discreteissue as Hills Like White Elephants, the novel discusses questions ofmasculinity on a large scale by testing an array of male characters, eachperfect in some traditionally masculine traits, with a woman perfectly designedto cut to their flaws. The three most important of these controlled experimentsbalance each other particularly well. Lady Bretts treatment of Jake Barnes,Pedro Romero, and, much more briefly, Count Mippopopolous allows ErnestHemingway to exhibit the infinite fallibility of Man as his most fundamental andimportant quality rather than exulting the tough-guy, ubermench cult he is oftencredited with popularizing. Ernest Hemingway says he slapped Max Eastmansface with a book and Max Eastman says he threw Hemingway over a desk andstood him on his head in a corner They both tell of the face-slapping, butMr.
Hemingway denies Mr. Eastman threw him anywhere or stood him on his head inany place, and says that he will donate $1,000 to any charityfor the pleasureof Mr. Eastmans company in a locked room with all legal rights waved. Hemingways penchant for adventure, belief in honor, and outward male prideoften manifested themselves in well-publicized scandals such as his 1937 rumblewith Max Eastman. Some of his stories, like surviving on bananas and rum in theAfrican jungle after suffering two plane crashes, have integrated themselvesinto American folklore. The author seemed to live the romantic, wild lifestylehis novels reported.
And Hemingway did lead an exciting lifehunting inAfrica, fishing off Cuba, battling in Spain, and drinking in France. However,Hemingway killed himself in July of 1961, so he obviously found shortcomings inthe commingling of fiction and reality that he created. Consequently, a readingof The Sun Also Rises that examines the failures of its male characters as astudy of qualities men ought to have inevitably proves anemicall of themsuffer from flaws the author purposely highlights. Hemingway cannot deny theimportance and existence of heroic acts even within a novel containing nocomplete hero. Rather, the defects of the men with whom Lady Brett cultivatesrelationships throughout the book represent the obstacles that all men mustovercome as the necessary action of heroism. His story, The Short Happy Lifeof Francis Macomber, follows the full cycle of this process, from theemasculation of its protagonist when his wife witnesses his flight from a lionon safari, to his murder as a result of conquering his fear.
Noticeably, though,the heroic completion of Francis Macomber who grows, awfully brave,awfully suddenly immediately precedes the death he suffers not in thefangs of his previous adversary but at the hands of his wife, societysrepresentative on that plot of savannah. Jake Barnes, the narrator in The SunAlso Rises, does not clearly recount the moments that stole the physicalcomponent of his masculinity. The novel simply informs the reader of thepresence of such a war injury, which becomes Lady Brett, his professed lovesexcuse for her incomplete attention to him. But Jakes basic failing as a manparadoxically provides him with an increased tolerance for Brett and his abilityto, somewhat objectively, relate a story about her sexual activity. Barnes alsowields a cool tone before any emotional situation in completing the tough taskof tracking Ashley. The man refuses any connection to an outside characterdeeper than drinking and banter.
For instance, in Burguete he responds,Drink up, Harris, to a new fishing buddys admission, I say,Barnes. You dont know what this all means to me. Arthur Waldhorn notes inhis Readers Guide to Ernest Hemingway, what Jake offers himself is aself-study course in emotional pragmatism.