To The Novel As A Whole Essay, Research Paper
Discuss the title The Sun Also Rises as it applies to the novel as a whole
The novel The Sun Also Rises is set directly after World War I. This was a time of confusion for mankind. It can metaphorically be compared to the sun setting on people. People, in many parts of the world, had horrifying memories from the war, and this, naturally affected their lives both physically and psychologically. The generation following the war is often named ?the lost generation? or the ?walking wounded?. Yet, the title of the book, the Sun Also Rises is optimistic. Hemingway?s choice is not accidental. Once reading the novel it is clear that Hemingway meant to pass a message through the title. Throughout the novel Hemingway shows the constant cycle of ebb and flow in characters and events.
Jake could easily be considered the main character in the novel. Throughout the story we learn about his problems. We also see him grow and recover. This can easily be related to the title of the book which shows on growing development. At the beginning Jake talks about his injury from the war. Apparently this injury has caused him many troubles such as the inability to be with the lady whom he loves. Jake maintains that he can be hard-boiled at day, but once night comes down he is no longer as strong ?It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing? (pg. 42). Jake is in great despair. He is constantly in tears and is always depressed. He feels very low and insecure. During the later part of the book, some signs of the sun rising for Jake are visible. Jake learns to deal with his injury and no longer sees this as a big issue. This realization, however, is portrayed through acts that play as a learning process. The first act is when Jake is in Burguete, where he goes fishing. There he actually seems to be having fun day and night. He only rarely thinks of Brett and no longer concerns himself with daily regular problems and concerns. He communicates with nature, which makes him feel fully good about himself. A feeling he had not felt for quite along period. Another situation arises in Pamplona. It is a difficult time for Jake. Jake does not enjoy himself. He disappoints people, and even gets in a fight. Nevertheless, these acts make him stronger and more self-aware. By the end of the novel, it is apparent that Jake starts accepting himself as a flawed human being, however this is just the beginning. This is seen when he talks to Brett and rather than hoping they could get together he replies to her question ?isn?t it pretty to think so?? (pg. 251). This is why those events could be seen as the sun rising on Jake.
Brett is another main character in the novel. The process of the sun rising on her is along process. In the early pages of the novel, she seems to be very miserable, and hopeless ?Oh darling, I?ve been so miserable? (pg. 32). She is described to be very shallow and for instance can not have in depth conversations. She appears to have a very simple not profound character, and she lacks any sense of values. Brett does not finish her sentences, which shows carelessness and perhaps superficiality. When she first meets Jake, she doesn?t seem to be too happy with her life ?I just feel terrible? (pg70), and although she seems cheerful, the reader can see that she is not fully blithe. This is probably caused because of her unsuccessful experiences with men. Luckily, she acknowledges this and perhaps this can be considered to be the first step to the sun rising on her. Like Jake, the sun rising on Brett is also portrayed in many events. The probably most important one is Romero. This, essentially is what caused Brett realizes that life is more than shallow heart braking romances. Brett first sees Romero in the Bull fighting on Pamplona. From the first time she saw him she felt something for him. Then she asked Jake to meet between them. From then onwards things started to develop between Brett and Romero. Normally, Brett would go out with the young man for a few weeks and then dump him with out a lot of thinking. However, this time, something different happens and this is why it is common to relate this to the sun rising on Brett. One day Jake gets a fax from Brett asking him to come and save her. He goes only to discover once again that she dumped the guy. Nevertheless, this time her reason from breaking up with him is because she didn?t want to ruin him, she for once refuses to be a bitch. Brett allows herself to feel proud and good about herself. It is almost like she is rediscovering herself, just like the sun rediscovers itself every new day.
The bullfights are another very clear example to how the sun rises. Jake really likes this sport ?[Motoya] always smiled at us as though bull fighting were a very special secret between the two of us? (pg. 136). In the last fight, Hemingway spends time explaining the positions of the fighters. This obviously means it is important to the story. There are three bull fighters. The one on the right is Marcial, then Romero and lastly Belmonte. As the matter of fact there are two way for interpreting the situation. The first way is looking at this as if it?s the life cycle. The sun goes through a single life cycle every single day. This in a way, is like the bullfighters. Romero is at the beginning or perhaps middle of his life cycle as a bullfighter. He is young and talented. The crowd loves him because he is good, and with a lot of energy? Romero did always, smoothly, calmly and beautifully what he, Belmonte could only bring himself to do now sometimes? (pg. 219). Belmonte on the other hand, is a retired bullfighter. His time of glory has passed on to another generation, Romero. Belmonte is not a good fighter anymore, the crowd dislikes him and they throw vegetables at him. Nevertheless there is another way to interpret this case. The sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Looking at the way all three matadors were standing. Marcial has the potential to become a great fighter; he therefore stands in the East, where the sun rises. The sun is at its greatest ?potential? and ?strength? when it is in the center of the sky. Hence, Romero’s position the center in-between Marcial and Belmonte. ?Because they were against Belmonte, the public were for Romero?(pg. 219). Belmonte is metaphorically speaking, in the west, where the sun sets. He has had his great times, but they are over. It is time for him to set down now. Those are the two different ways to try and understand what Hemingway meant.
There are a few more symbolic acts concerning the life cycle. The journeys the characters took may be further looked at. When Jake and Bill drive through Spain they notice several things. One of them is the contrasting idea Jake sees. He speaks of an old castle, which he sees on the way along with a field of grain. ?An old castle, with buildings close around it and a field of grain? (pg. 99). The old castle is a sign of decay and death. The castle once used to be new and modern but not that time has passed. The field of grain, on the other hand is just growing. It is still just developing and renewing. This again, shows the life cycle of things growing and dying, of the sun rising and then setting. Another idea that Hemingway talks a lot about is cleansing. Almost every time after the characters have done something sinful they go and take a shower in order to cleanse themselves. This is perhaps and attempt for a renewal for a fresh clean start. One time, after Brett comes back from San Sebastian she claims she has to go take a bath? Must clean myself?must bathe? (pg. 80), later on we learn that she slept with Robert. Another time, Jake feels he has disappointed many people, he tried to cleanse by taking a shower, but not water is coming out, therefore he can?t clean himself. There is one more event that is worth mentioning. In book 3, we can see that the story continues after the fiesta ended. Many believe Hemingway should have ended the novel there. Nevertheless, he probably wanted to show that the sun also rises a day after the fiesta. That there is always a continual to everything. When a thing ends, it is a beginning to a new one.
The novel The Sun Also Rises shows many examples that match the title. It also speaks of a ?lost Generation? a generation that has no worries, not concerns and no problems whatsoever. This generation, is the generation that comes immediately after World War I. At the beginning of the book it is apparent that the characters have no direction wherever they go. They take unplanned trips and do not have a worry in the world. However, by the end of the novel, is seems as if the world takes some meaning. As if the sun rises and new ideas come into the people?s minds. This title, for obvious reasons, was not chosen accidentally. Hemingway probably wrote the book and only then decided what the tile is according to the plot of the book. The title definitely has a meaning, and we can see it by reading all the little hints he gives the reader. Since by the end of the book some hope can be seen, perhaps this is look into the future. A future where people have a meaning to their life, perhaps not a ?lost Generation?.