The Sun Also Rises Essay

2448 WordsJul 15, 201110 Pages
Gender as Represented in Hemingway Novel The Sun Also Rises World War I caused a drastic re-evaluation of what it meant to be masculine. The pre-war idyllic of the stoic, brave soldier provided little or no relevance in the perspective of vicious trench struggle that characterized the battle. In most cases soldiers were required to sit clustered together as the enemy charged them. In such a situation, ones survival was far more dependent on luck rather than one’s bravery. Conventional notions of what it meant to be a man were thus damaged by the realism of the war. For instance, throughout the novel Jake has been portrayed as embodying all those cultural changes and during the war that his manhood is rendered useless for the reason that he has an injury. He continues to bear the burden of feeling less of a man than he used to be. In lieu of this, Critics such as Goodman have found that Hemingway depicts women in his writing from a sexist point of view. Hemingway is also overly conscious in depicting masculinity, and many men in his novel struggle with their ideas of what it is to be masculine (Goodman 32). Therefore this paper will explore how Hemingway represents gender in his novel. While Jake’s situation is for the most part the explicit instance of weakened masculinity in the novel, it is definitely not the solitary one. We realize that all the war veterans feel insecure with respect to their manhood. In addition, Hemingway does not depict this fact openly, but to a certain extent reveals it in the way Jake and his friends act in response to Cohn. Cohn is their victim in particular due to the abuse soon after they see him being involved in unmanly manners such as following Brett around. The men in the novel are able to cope with their uncertainties of being fragile and not masculine by condemning the weakness they see in him. Further, Hemingway presents

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