The Sun Also Rises: The Involvement Of The War

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The Sun Also Rises centers around the evolving times of the 1920s. This generation featured many younger people who were reaching adulthood following World War I. This generation were losing their faith and morality with the effects of war that they saw. After seeing many deaths and violence, they realized that life can be fragile and short, so they began to live their life and have fun. Some of the most typical behaviors of this generations included decadence, an altered view of what the American Dream was, and the confusion in the roles of gender. These events were based on the real events that Hemingway dealt with, “We know the fact that Hemingway is interested in the present and so he writes about things he has been, known or experienced himself” (Sharma 2014).

Many of the people during this time began to lose their faith after their involvement in the war. With dealing with the effects of the war they began to lose their innocence which lead to them losing hope in religion. This begins a domino effect as the characters try and escape from their problems. One of the many problems that this generation turned to was alcohol. Hemingway makes alcohol a main part of his novel and uses it to show how the use of alcohol centers around all activities that they partake in.

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We can see how the involvement in the war has affected the main characters. Jake suffers both mentally and physically from his battle wound. Even though he felt the same way as the other people of the generation, he is aware of how he it has affected him and stumbles into religion to try and help him. “I only wished I felt religious, and maybe I would the next time” (Hemingway 103). Even though Jake appreciates the idea of prayer and religion, he feels that he cannot turn back to it since God has failed him in so many ways through war and his relationships.

Brett on the other hand, has lost all faith in religion. Like Jake she has seen violence and traumas from the war but lost her husband during the war as well. She begins to lose the feminine standard and begins to act much like a man. She starts to go out to bars and clubs to drink with other men. She flirts and has casual sex with men. Brett is used to having people do anything for her, but during this time she feels as if God is the only one who will not help her, “He never worked very well for me (Hemingway 249). She feels that God has abandoned her when she needed hope with that she has been through.

Ernest Hemingway uses the verse from Ecclesiastes “The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries around to rise again” (Eccles. 1:5) as the title of his book to depict the journey of the characters as they try to find the meaning of the world, as it seems to be falling apart around them. Hemingway uses the verse to show that this generation has seen the sun rise and the light is currently on them. The title also brings some hope as the sun will regenerate as a new generation is born.  


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