Sun Also Rises Essay, Research Paper
Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is set in Europe after World War I and talks about the life of a group of expatriates, and their summer journey from Paris to Pamplona in Spain. This novel vividly depicts the time period since it shows the atmosphere of despair and disillusionment following the First World War. Although it takes place nearly seven years after World War I ended, all the characters are still burdened by their war experience.
All the major characters are expatriates from America and Great Britain. In search of adventure, and of something to fill the gap in their lives, they come to live in Paris. Paris in the 1920s was famous for its thriving cafe culture. The cultural movement known as Modernism was emerging, and it reflected the cultural dislocation, the break with tradition, and the freedom to experiment of the postwar era. The expatriates felt at home in a culture of displaced people. Things not allowed back home such as smoking, drinking, and casual sex, were considered typical in Paris. The expatriates liked to stay up all night talking and drinking in caf?s, and then watch the sun rise over the River Seine. They were always on the move: from cafe to dance club, from Paris to Pamplona and back again. The expatriates were always doing something: mostly drinking, but also dancing, eating, fishing, talking, watching bullfights, swimming, getting haircuts, buying things, taking baths, etc. It seems as if they wanted to wear themselves out; as if they feared sleep and solitude
Although Hemingway’s characters found life in Paris exciting, they also found it to be empty. To escape the corruption of the city, they traveled to the more traditional world of Spain. However, even though they changed their location, the expatriates continued with their old habits of drinking, going to cafes, and partying.
The book’s main characters–Jake, Brett, Robert Cohn, Mike, and Bill–were not tied to any one set of values and could move from place to place. In contrast, the natives of Paris and Pamplona seemed to lead firmly established and stable lives. The expatriates moved from one European setting to another, permanent tourists forever looking in at a world to which they did not belong.