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The Sun Also Rises (Forum Locked Forum Locked)
 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : The Sun Also Rises
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Tommy H
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 1:24pm | IP Logged Quote Tommy H

As Mellisa P said, Hemingway writes in short choppy senences. He uses short sentences to keep from getting too descriptive.

As far as style, Brain Turner could not be more different. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but Turner's poem, "AB Negative", is really one long sentence.

I also found that Turner might actually have been influenced by T.S. Eliot. The third line of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" is, "Like a patient etherized upon a table". This directly relates to how Turner describes the soldier who is lying on a table dying. 

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MaggieB
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 2:29pm | IP Logged Quote MaggieB

I liked Turner a whole lot more then Hemingway. Turner's descriptions were intense and I liked them more than the lack of desriptions in Hemingway's writing. Hemingway didn't use descrpition and had short choppy sentences as Tommy just said. Tommy also made a very intresting connection between two authors we are learning about.
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Nidhi P
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 2:37pm | IP Logged Quote Nidhi P

Many of us agree that Hemingway didn't put a lot of detail in his story, in the FAQ it says that Hemingway did this because he knew what he wanted to describe that he felt that the readers could understand what he was trying to say and imagine it themselves.  I think the fact that we have so much other work to do, as well as read this novel, it's hard for most of us to take the time and look at the story and really try to imagine the things going on, which is why most of us like Turner's work more.  The descriptions actually put us there.  As for the actual content, I agree a lot with what Heather had to say about the anti-semitism feeling of the time.  During wars, or right before the war actually happens, there is a lot of negative feelings going on about other groups which people today feel about the way in Iraq which was mentioned in Turner's poems, and the character of the second poem, Thalia Fields, who seemed like a hero on our side, with her death will lead to more feelings of hate.  Turner's poems show the possibility of a new "lost generation" being created because of the war, but his descriptions make it more real for all of us to understand what is going on compared to Hemingway.

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Lori Z
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 3:55pm | IP Logged Quote Lori Z

In addition to my previous post, I felt that as I read Brian Turner's gut-wrenching poems, I could not help but feel like I was involved on the battlefield.  It seems that this helps place me, the reader, in the narrator's position and allows me to better understand and experience what is happening.  In Hemingway's novel, I feel more like an outside observer with an objective view.  Although I understand what is going on, his writing style does not draw much emotion or feeling from me.
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lindsayk
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 5:50pm | IP Logged Quote lindsayk

As a response to the first question on whether it is important to like or understand a novel, I agree with most of the other students in that it is not necessarily important whether we enjoy Hemingway's work. After all, each person has his or her own taste in literature and not everyone will find the same thing interesting or entertaining. However, unlike the majority, I do not think it is particularly important to even understand a novel. You may be wondering what my reasoning behind this is, because it does sound kind of crazy, but I think that if a reader can appreciate a work of art, it's not necessarily important to fully understand it. Of course, it would be helpful to comprehend in order to appreciate, but as long as the reader can place a piece of literature in context as far as the history and thoughts of that time, I think that is more rewarding and helpful than just understanding the text.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of Hemingway's literature--The Sun Also Rises, at least; I find it to be rather uneventful and dry for my taste, but it's important to consider his impact in the perspective of time. As a post-WWI writer, Hemingway formed somewhat radical ideas compared to many other people during that time, and he began to break away from others' views, thus making him an iconoclast. He did attack popular and traditional ideas, even though many previous posters have overlooked that because his style of prose is more journalistic and passive rather than passionate and in your face.

Brian Turner in “AB Negative” and “Here, Bullet” could not be more different. Hemingway’s style is clearly journalistic; he gives you the bare minimum without much decoration, producing his famous short and choppy sentences. Turner, on the other hand is extremely descriptive, and as Tommy noted, the entire poem “AB Negative” is one long sentence! Not only that, he uses much adornment to vividly portray the gruesome scenes, an obvious contrast to Hemingway, who barely describes even his most central characters’ physical appearances. If anything, I'd compare Turner more to T. S. Eliot; both authors make use of figurative language and intense description to evoke true emotions and trigger memorable images in the minds of their readers.



Edited by lindsayk on 17 November 2005 at 5:54pm
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paulinaz
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 6:57pm | IP Logged Quote paulinaz

It’s pretty obvious that the biggest difference between Turner and Hemingway is the amount of descriptive words they incorporate into their writing, but they are both trying to drive the same point home. Both authors are trying to convey how traumatic and long-lasting the effects of war leave on a person.
    I agree with
a lot that Ariyan has to say on this topic. Personally, I like Hemingway’s lack of description better. I was never a fan of most the books we’ve read previously because all of the authors were in favor of making their readers spend days picturing about every last minute detail. This is one of the fastest books I’ve ever read in my life, but that’s not what I like about it. When I’m reading the book, I always feel like I’m being hurried, like I’m running. I think that’s exactly what Jake is doing. Like Aryian said Jake is lost; he doesn’t know what to do with his life anymore. Even more I think that Jake isn’t just lost, but is looking for something. He’s trying to find the way to go back to the person he was before the war. I think he, and all the other characters, are trying to go back to their mindset before the war, but since they cannot seem to find happiness, they drown themselves in liquor. A lot of people seem to thing that this book is pointless and isn’t really going anywhere, but I thinking, more like hoping, that in the end Jake will find whatever it is he may be searching, such as love.
  Turner’s characters also express the great misery that goes along with being in the war, but he does not show the pain in takes to put everything behind you, which is what Hemingway focuses on. So, while I think that Turner’s poem is more vivid, putting you on the scene, I like Hemingway’s style more because it keeps the book moving at a fast pace.

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alyssao
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 8:16pm | IP Logged Quote alyssao

I agree with both Lindsay and Paulina. I  believe that it is not necessary to understand something completely to enjoy it. I think everyone has listened to a song with a line they did not understand, or seen a painting making a statement that they did not quite get. Yet it is still possible to enjoy that work of art, though it is, as Lindsay said, not quite as rewarding as it would be if you did understand fully. I agree with Paulina that the lack of descriptions is good. I've often read books that spend an entire page describing a sunset. I don't want every detail clearly written out for me- you're left with no room for imagination that way. Also, when authors describe characters, their description often goes against what I imagine that character to look like. However, the characters in The Sun Also Rises, like Jake, are not given a definite description.  Therefore, I can imagine him in my mind to be however I please. 

Like most students, I am not enjoying the book.  As of right now, the only thing that comes to my mind when I think of the book is drinking.  I am sure that Hemingway would have wanted a much more important and meaningful thought to come to my mind.  The lack of description is apprectiated, but that is not enough to save the book in my opinion.  It seems very dull and as one student mentioned awhile back, I am tempted to skip over everything but the dialogue. 

The overall mood of the book reminds me of The Catcher in the Rye.  Of course, there are not many similarites found between these two books, but like The Catcher in the Rye, The Sun Also Rises has this overall sad mood.  The characters are always in a mess with each other, and are never really enjoying themselves.  They just get drunk and fight with one another, leaving the other characters upset.  I'm starting to wonder, Mrs. Weisgerber, if we'll get to more happier material...

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ChineduJ
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 8:35pm | IP Logged Quote ChineduJ

I am very much impressed with Turner's poem AB Negative (The Surgeon’s Poem). Although it is very graphic, I feel that the imagery leaves the reader with a raw emotion. I personally felt nothing but anguish for those trapped in the snare that is war as described by Turner. Soldiers are the ones who everyone thinks of first during war, but this poem unveiled the physician and the other heroes behind the curtains. Society tends to want to romanticize/label war as man vs. man, or man vs. society. The problem is who can say for sure that the greatest struggle in war is man vs. man/society and not man vs. himself? Who can even say that the solider is the person most affected in the end? Do we not empathize with the individual whose decision it is to send men into peril? Would you discredit the people who treat those who have been deformed in body, but mauled in spirit? Does anyone think or feel for the civilians or those who are sitting at home wondering when the bloodshed will end, and if tomorrow will be a brighter day? But I digress…
             War, unfortunately, has many effects on the people who experience it. From the descriptiveness in AB Negative (The Surgeon’s Poem), you can infer that Turner has experience with war and tragedy, pain and grief. Even though Turner’s poem has powerful imagery, his work appears to only scratch the surface of travesties evoked by all-consuming war. Hemingway attempts to give the reader insight into the greater effect of war- the power to influence a generation. But reading The Sun Also Rises does not leave me with any raw or unprecedented emotion. However, it does make me think. The characters in Hemingway's novel are lost people; they wander around searching for one thing or the other that is right under their noses. I presume they do not see themselves as a lost generation, but that is exactly what they are. When an author chooses to enlighten the world on something as intense and provocative as war, there will always be critics and those who blatantly disagree with the author’s point of view. Therefore, it is not important to like The Sun Also Rises, but it is absolutely vital to understand it. After World War I, who could have predicted World War II? Who can claim to know the societal effects of the world’s next major war? As in any imperative subject in life, knowing the cause of something is as important as knowing the effect(s), and vice versa. Understanding why Jake’s generation is lost is key to preventing modern society from becoming “lost” for the same reasons. The world we live in today is more complex and more diverse than that of Jake and post WWI society. As a wise man once said to me, the more complex something is, the greater the probability of something going wrong. What wrong could ensue from learning lessons a lost generation struggled through? Shouldn’t understanding the message Hemingway attempts to display in The Sun Also Rises better society as a whole? After all, is it not true that history often repeats itself? Why not arm yourself with knowledge and chose to stand prepared for whatever surprises are on the horizon?*

*(Note the sparkling correlation between the phrase “the sun also rises,” the fact that at the dawn of a new day at war there is a chance of the day being a “good” day or a horrible day, and the fact that you cannot predict what surpises lurk on the horizon- which can also be construed as "what the day will bring")



Edited by ChineduJ on 17 November 2005 at 11:25pm
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SeanM
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 9:03pm | IP Logged Quote SeanM

I agree with alyssa, The Sun Also Rises is a very depressing book, maybe that's why I don't like it that much. Alyssa's comment also got me thinking that Hemingway was probably a pessimistic author who could never "keep on the sunny side of life". Though Hemingway's journalistic background influenced his writing style as fred has said many times, maybe his obsession with war only allowed him to see the negative things in life, like jake's "injury", and he never sees the good things. His characters seem to be stuck in an insurmountable rut of their lives, and they never try to get out of it because it seems impossible. Apparently they think that filling that rut with booze will help them float out of it. 

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SamanthaF
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Posted: 17 November 2005 at 9:36pm | IP Logged Quote SamanthaF

I agree with most who have posted previously on the point that Hemingway is far less descriptive than Turner.  I feel that this is a positive thing, as it allows you to create your own image of the person and to interpret the story as you wish.  As Amber said, “...the picture I think of for Jake is not any one else's.”  Without detailed descriptions, Hemingway allows readers to visualize the story for themselves as they see it, as Nidhi also said, and I think that this makes our discussion of the book more interesting.  An example of this happened in history class the other day when we had four different interpretations of one paragraph in the history book.  Although that situation had a more certain correct answer, interpreting the details of the TSAR can be debated, which I feel makes it more interesting.

 

             I agree with Paulina’s theory on Hemmingway’s plot.  After the war, Jake was not the same person he once was, and may never be able to be again.  Paulina also says, “…since they cannot seem to find happiness, they drown themselves in liquor.”  I think that Jake will always be in love with Brett, but it is inevitable that she will end up with someone else.  They never seem to be able to get close without Brett becoming flustered, overly dramatic, and making an excuse to leave.  This is why he drowns himself in liquor.  Brett, who never really loves the men she is with, but uses them for her own advantage, also falls into an alcoholic pattern as no one can really be happy with that type of lifestyle. 

 

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