Ironic Cycles Essay, Research Paper
In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway uses irony and symbolism to illustrate how a group of Americans and English expatriates lived life. They try to forget the war and restore a sense of meaning to their lives, which he would have liked to do. Hemingway s attitudes are expressed in the book, including his idea of, emphasize the optimistic idea of progress of life s cycle.
When Hemingway was growing up, he would perfect his fishing during his family s summer vacations to Horton s Bay. Right up until he decided to enlist in the army, his passion was fishing. The fishing trip in the book demonstrates that Jake can find happiness in the sun, without Brett. Spending time with two men that know the woman he loves makes him realize he is better off without Brett.
Jake seems to be the mature, stabilizing friend to all, but his own life is in a mess. Hemingway shared the same characteristics. When he was rejected from the army because of his bad eyesight, he still wanted some adventure in his life. So he decided to be an ambulance driver for the Red Cross. After he was wounded, he helped another injured man find his way to a trench and out of harm. He put other people s problems ahead of his own, just as his character, Jake, does. Jake symbolizes the steers being put into the ring to calm the bulls. He is put into the rowdy group to help them maintain some order. His true emotions do not show through much. This is one of Jake s flaws, along with his impotence. As Hemingway was wounded in war, he portrays this in Jake s character.
Hemingway joined the Lost Generation crowd during his hardships. During these years people spent time aimlessly walking around. They didn t think there was a purpose to their lives. In the book, the characters wandered together through an endless, drunken procession of parties, cafes, and sexual affairs, in a desperate search for meaning to their lives. Some of the story Jake tells the reader lies between the lines in the book, possibly symbolizing the absence of meaning in the characters lives.
The war constantly haunts the characters throughout the book. The effects of war are evident in their alcoholism and their unconscious cruelty to each other. It is the war and its effects they are running away from with their continuous drinking. They are attempting to flee the war that hurt them both physically and psychologically, but as Jake says, You can t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. Hemingway tried to forget his memories of war by drinking excessively as did his characters in the book. His first wife became his drinking companion. With her there by his side, he could attempt to forget his own war experiences.
Hemingway s idea for the book came after he and his friends attended the Fiesta de San Fermin in 1925. The book explains the relationships between himself, his friends, and a bullfighter. Evidently one of his friends had an affair with the bullfighter, Ordonez, only after having an affair with another of Hemingway s friends. Hemingway felt guilty for allowing this to happen. He felt torn between the two worlds he inhabited, that of an aficionado and that of the expatriates in Paris who had lost their belief in values due to the World War. (said a philosopher from Yale)
Hemingway wanted to change his ways of writing for this book especially. Uniqueness should be a strong point in all writings and Hemingway felt that he was following in other s footsteps. His short sentences and detailed descriptions helped to slow the flow of the book. The third scene of the book is a good example. Hemingway tries to express the ideal bullfight. He cuts a longer sentence into two shorter ones. It was not brilliant bull-fighting. It was perfect bull-fighting, is one instance.
Hemingway s idea of life is depicted in this book. In the beginning of the book Brett and Jake are in a taxicab in New York. Again, at the end, they are in the same situation. Everything that happened in the middle of the novel had no meaning. It all ended up right back at the start. The characters are similar to Hemingway, trying to figure out some meaning to their lives during the hard years.