Sun Also Rises And Jake Barnes Essay

, Research Paper

People often mentally distance themselves from their peers do to flaws and

irregularities that they may suffer from. In The Sun Also Rises Jake Barnes

constantly seems to be distanced and un willing to accept the people and

environment that he lives in. The impotence that Jake Barnes physically suffers

from leads him to suffer from mental impotence regarding the reality of his

actions and the environment in which he lives. Aside from Jakes own actions,

this impotence is reflected through supporting characters such as Brett and Cohn

by the authors? use of the literary devices parody and irony. Jake Barnes is a

veteran ex-patriot of WWI living in Paris, France. During the war Jake received

a wound that led him into a life of physical impotence. While in a hospital Jake

met and fell in love with Lady Brett Ashley whom he desires throughout the

novel. Jake is the editor of a newspaper in France, yet his life circulates

around his journey to find meaning and acceptance into society. Jake is often

measuring the morals of others and trying to find an appropriate way to go about

his own life. Jake and the other characters, who suffer from similar mental

impotency for one reason or another, are often found to be drinking and seeking

sexual relations. Through these actions Jake is attempting to numb himself to

the reality that is the world he lives in yet does not understand. Jake goes to

bars and drinks so that he might escape from the turmoil his meaningless life

has become. Jake is often found to be making attempts to please Brett in any way

possible, through this he reveals that he is attempting to gain her acceptance

and affection but does not realize that many of these actions are only leading

her further from him. Jake feels unaccepted because that he cannot participate

in a ritualistic part of the lives that his peers exploit, sex. The use of

parody in The Sun Also Rises allows for the reader to relate the characters

different experiences to their impotence. I one of the first scenes Jake is

found riding in an horse drawn open air taxi with a prostitute whom he has

picked up to keep him company and give the appearance that he is promiscuous.

Just after this incident Jake is riding in an enclosed taxi with Brett

participating in an emotional struggle. The first scene is romantic and flagrant

with its appealing environmental descriptions and fancy carriage whereas in the

second scene the surroundings depict construction and a more dismal environment,

not at all romantic. This parody is relevant because that Jake did not want to

be exposed to the rest of the world when his body did not accept Brett, yet in

the carriage with the prostitute he was merely attempting to appear as if he

were a part of the sexual atmosphere that he lives in. Jake spends the entire

novel searching for the affection of Lady Brett, yet in many instances urges her

to go and be with other men. Through such irony it is revealed that Jake wants

more than anything to make Brett happy. When Jakes handicap does not allow him

to be with Brett he attempts to please her by finding others that can do so. By

doing so Jakes emotions are only damaged to a greater extent yet he sees it as

rational. Jake becomes jealous and angry after Cohn has an affair with Brett

because that he believes that Cohn is the only one in his circle of friends who

has not become disillusioned and daunted by society. The Sun Also Rises is the

story of Jake Barnes? search for a way to go about living his life and find

acceptance. Throughout the novel the reader is allowed to see what is wrong with

his life and what he is doing wrong in his attempts to fix it. Jake does not

grasp that he has the ability to gain Brett?s acceptance without being her

sexual partner.


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