Theme Of Masculinity In The Sun Also Rises By Hemingway

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Hemingway was a master of writing, not with the opinions of his audience in mind, but with the opinions of his subjects as the priority. In The Sun Also Rises he exposes truths about human relationships, attitudes of escapism, and the changing values of Americans. These are just a few examples of the many features of humanity Hemingway exposes in the novel. Instead of trying to cover them all in this paper, I will narrow my focus mostly to Hemingway’s comments about masculinity.
The perception of masculinity has faced many changes over the last century. In The Sun Also Rises Hemingway uses the male characters to vividly depict the birth of a new masculinity at the start of the 20th century. The beginning of the century shepherded in a momentous change of perception regarding masculinity. In the 19th century, the masculine ideal was based upon a frontier lifestyle. With the end of American expansion, many people believed the new generation was growing materialistic, feminine, and soft.
Through depicting the difficulties of the men in the novel living up to these expectations of masculinity, Hemingway exposes a larger
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One of the core masculine ideals in western society is that of being a provider, in this regard, Mike completely fails. Throughout the novel, it is clear Mike has no steady source of income. Instead of finding a career, Mike spends his days chasing around Brett and getting drunk. Like Jake, Mike allows himself to be emasculated by Brett, but to an even larger degree. Due to Mike’s sloppiness, even though Jake is in love with Brett, he never becomes intimidated by his presence. During a drunken rant Mike admits to Jake once, “This is all awfully amusing, but it’s not too pleasant. It’s not too pleasant for me” (Hemingway, Chapter 17). This shows that even if Mike married Brett, he will never have the full control of her that a man should
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