Modernism And Hemingway’s Writing Style The Sun Also Rises

“Fiesta; The Sun Also Rises” was published in 1926 by Ernest Hemingway. Hemmingway was around 25 when the book was published and being a part of the generation who were a part of World War One, he is associated with the “Lost Generation”. The Lost Generation is a generation who is morally and psychologically lost. They are often associated with drinking, dancing and going through life blindly. In addition is Hemingway’s way of writing, compared to an iceberg. There is only little information on the written lines, but there are much more behind them. This is one of the things that makes his style of writing being a part of the modernism movement.

“Fiesta; The Sun Also Rises” takes the reader through a man’s head, that desires a woman he can’t have. Through a man, is the reader introduced to life after war, and how people find meaning in alcohol, sex and parties.

Through the narrator in “Fiesta; The Sun Also Rises”, is the reader presented to the main character, Jake Barnes. Jake Barnes is both the narrator and the protagonist of the story, which means that the reader experiences the story though his desires and thoughts. The foundation of Jake Barnes is built before the events in the book. Jake Barnes way of describing his story, is simple, yet it leaves many questions. He hints at things, especially when it is about his life before the war. The representation of the lost generation is shown through how he and his companions go from bar to bar drinking and the endless wandering around. “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” This shows Barnes inner struggle with his place in life. Barnes became injured doing World War One and is now incapable of performing sexually. This prevents him to be with the love of his life, Lady Brett Ashley. The way Brett Ashley is presented makes her a siren. She is a woman who longer after independence. She affects the friendships between the men in the story and the way Hemingway presents Bret Ashley, is through lying and flirting.

Sex and bullfighting play a significance role in the story, and have symbolism behind it. The bulls themselves symbolise passion and freedom, which is shown when the bulls interact with the bull-fighters. The interaction between the animal and the fighter, is a pure act that ends up symbolising sex.

“She saw how Romero avoided every brusque movement and saved his bulls for last when wanted them, not winded and discomposed but smoothly worn down.” This shows that just in the simplest act, is Barnes a passionate man. For him, each bullfight equals seduction, power and manipulation. Since he can’t have sex himself, is bullfighting an outlet to experience passion without having to perform it himself. He also mentions the bull-fighters in the begging of the book, “Nobody ever live their life all the way up except bull-fighters.” This shows that he is fascinated by them from the beginning and idolize them.

From the first chapter to the last, is there a big contrast. From the first chapter is the reader introduced to Robert Cohn. The first chapter has its focus on Robert Cohn which gives Barnes the opportunity to disappear into the background.

The turning point in the story, is when the fiesta starts. Barnes writes how things during the fiesta is unreal, and how it seemed out of place to think about consequences. “The things that happened could only have happened during a fiesta.” This is where drinking, dancing and loving is in the air at every moment. This is the place where the friend group mix up and fights begin. This is the place in the book, where the characters say and do what their hearts wants.

The last chapter shows the reader what is left of the fiesta. As the fiesta ends, does Pamplona not gave a purpose, and it becomes clear for the characters that they no longer belong. Without the distraction a fiesta can provide, do they have to return to their lives, which include that money becomes the defining characteristics in their relationships. During the story return Jake to one of his old hotel rooms, but it doesn’t look or feel the same. This shows how the fiesta have changed him.

“Fiesta The Sun Also Rises” is Hemingway’s way to show how his generation coped with the post war life. Hemingway’s way of writing with gaps, everyday language and leaving things up to the imagination, is a classic representation of his modernism style. The way the lost generation is presented seems so simple, but behind the façade is there more to come after. Previous morals and traditions regarding the ethical aspects of life no longer applied. Virginia Woolf once stated, “sometime on or after December 1910 human character changed.” 

16 August 2021
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