Sympathy In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

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Many who read Ernest Hemingway’s novel, The Sun also Rises, will feel some form of sympathy for the main character, as I did. The Sun Also Rises is a post- war novel that follows a group of people affected by the First World War. Jake Barnes is the main character and is also the narrator. As the story goes on, we learn details about Jake such as the fact that he is impotent and that he once loved Brett. Jake is the most empathetic character due to his participation in the war resulting in his impotency. His wartime injury affected his relationships, particularly with women, specifically Brett. It also lessened his feelings of masculinity and restricted his social ability with people especially with Robert, Mike and Bill. Anyone who …show more content…
After Robert laid his eyes on Brett, he became infatuated with her. He became jealous of her relationship with Jake and anyone else but him. Throughout the novel, he is constantly picking fights, both physical and verbal, with anyone who has any sort of feeling for Brett. While in Pamplona Brett leaves a restaurant with another man. Robert asks Jake where she went but got no true answer from Jake. This angered Robert so much that he hit Jake hard enough to knock him out. “You were the only friend had, and I loved Brett so” (p.198). This goes to show that Roberts love for Brett ruined their friendship. Although Robert does feel regret afterward, it doesn’t change the fact that his actions were unnecessary and animalistic. So, Robert’s love for Brett ruined the friendship he had with Jake and many others around him. I feel sympathetic for Jake because, not only is he unable to have a true relationship with the woman he loves, but the love for that woman also costs him his relationship with his best friend. Jake also had to accept the fact that the woman he loved, Brett, went on a vacation to San Sebastian with his best friend. He can only imagine what they did there, which fuels his anger with Robert. Bill was another good friend of Jake’s and was also a healthier relationship than Robert. Bill and Jake went to Burguete on a fishing trip before meeting the others in Pamplona. Bill throughout the novel, is very into women and almost seems to validate himself through the numerical conquests rather than the actual relationship. Mike is another figure of strong masculinity that is constantly around Jake. While in Pamplona, He and Bill frequently went out to bars together, and they even participated in the running with the bulls. This all was done to prove their manliness, which is a characteristic that Jake feels he lacks. Jake overcompensates by participating

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