The Sun Also Rises Essay

548 Words3 Pages
Henry Louis Gates believes Ernest Hemingway, one of the most prominent Lost Generation writers, has a style that was fundamentally shaped “in reaction to [his] experience of world war.” Hemingway and other writers of the generation “lost faith in the central institutions of Western civilization,” by reacting against the “elaborate style” of previous writers. One of the most quintessential examples of this reaction is Hemingway’s legendary novel The Sun Also Rises. This iconic work portrays the characteristics of disillusionment of the generation through the character’s actions and their conversations. The behavior of the main character, Jake Barnes, exhibits the era of disillusionment throughout the novel. One notable example is through finding oneself though religion which is demonstrated in the novel by Barnes’ actions. When Barnes is going to pick up his bullfighting tickets, he stops and prays in a cathedral. However, his mind keeps wandering from subject to subject that he is praying about. When he is finishing up his prayers he thinks about how he “regretted that I [Barnes] was such a rotten Catholic.” His thought process continues into his opinion of Catholism when he states, “ I [Barnes] only wished I felt religious and maybe I [Barnes] would next time.” Barnes periodically looks for comfort in his religion, but his faith is not sufficient to anchor him mentally and spiritually in a period of such frenzied disillusionment. One of the Lost Generation characteristics is the people searching for something new to believe in because many people lost faith due to World War I; Many looked towards religion in order to find themselves. Even though actions speak louder than words, conversation can often provide insight into the character’s thoughts. In the beginning of the novel, Robert Cohn, a friend of Barnes, is trying to convince him to go to South

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