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The Significance of the Title of The Sun Also Rises

The Significance of the Title of The Sun Also Rises

A good title is one of the most important elements of a book. A good title can hint at the theme and is something to keep in mind while reading a book itself. A very effective title is one that teases the reader, makes him ponder over its meaning and relationship to the book. One such book/title is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. The title suggests an importance of time and a cyclical motif. Yet it also has a hopeful tone, focusing more on beginnings than on endings.

There are many cycles in the book and one of the most evident is that of Lady Brett Ashley and men. Brett has affairs with Cohn and Romero in the course of the book. In both cases there is a process of wooing, acceptance, and eventual rejection that takes place. It is also suggested that having affairs is a common practice for her, making that a cycle in and of itself.

The idea of cycles is also evident in a more ritualized form through the bull fighting and the Catholicism. Bull fighting is a very stylized affair that is mentioned throughout the whole book. Catholicism is also very ritualistic and is concerned with a religious cycle of life, death, and resurrection. Both add to the cycle motif Hemingway creates.

One of the best examples of cycles and the passage of time is the contrast of Romero and Belmonte. Belmonte is an old bull- fighter who has passed his prime; his sun is setting. Romero is a young bull- fighter who is just coming into his own; his sun is rising. Belmonte, “no longer had his greatest moments in the bull- ring. He was not sure that there were any great moments”(219). This contrast suggests the cycle of life and death. Good bull- fighters come and go. Just as Romero is in his prime, someday he too will be an older bullfighter, unable to move with the same grace he had in his youth.

This cycle of life and death can be seen on a much larger scale by looking at the ex-patriots. The ex-patriots are members of the post- World War I generation that is sometimes referred to as the Lost Generation. They went through the horrors of War and depression in their young lives and found themselves living in Europe and seemingly devoid of morals, spirituality, and purpose.

Relationships and Mechanical Processes in The Sun Also Rises

Relationships and Mechanical Processes in The Sun Also Rises

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

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