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The Sun Also Rises (Forum Locked Forum Locked)
 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : The Sun Also Rises
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Mrs Weisgerber
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:12am | IP Logged Quote Mrs Weisgerber

What do you think of this notion:  maybe Hemingway is making his characters in this novel heroes by making them people of action only.  Those verbs.  Remember our old friend Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Adventure?  If these people are warriors... they should be on a quest to win, fear weakness, slay dragons (or fish? bulls? people?), fight for what's right, and have as a virtue courage and discipline.  Your thoughts.
  
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SagarB
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:18am | IP Logged Quote SagarB

i agree that that by making his heroes out of only verbs and actions he is keeping is heroes very quick and they give an appearance of being more real because they are doing a lot of things. BUT i also think that this makes his heros very 1 dimensional. they are simply doin things- but i dont think they really know why they are doing things or, what things they are doin. in other words- the reader may feel that the hemingways heros are very real because they are doin many things, but in reality they are just doin a lot of meaningless things really fast and really often. kind of like a magic illusion which is too fast for the eye to catch.

 

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HeatherN
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote HeatherN

So far in The Sun also Rises Hemingway has presented Jake and company as doing, however they aren't doing anything of use to anyone else. In our readings this year we have covered many types of heroes, from Whitman's romantic view, to Crane's more realistic version; yet all of the authors we have read thus far agree on one thing - heroes must do something useful to others in order to be considered heroic. Sure, Crane's Collins (from The Mystery of Heroism) becomes a hero purely incedentally, but even he tries to help others - namely a fallen soldier in the battlefield. Hemingway's characters have done nothing except drink and have affairs. I think that Hemingway's attempt to create a hero in this novel has failed.

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SteffanieE
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:26am | IP Logged Quote SteffanieE

I don't agree with that statement.  Maybe they were heroes in the past, like when they were fighting in war and they were able to survive the trauma and devestation of it all, but in their present state, I don't see many of the characters in TSAR worthy of being called "heroes."

Sure the characters are people of action but of useless kind of action.  Maybe they can only be considered as personal heroes... All these people of the "lost generation"... They are only worried about their own lives.  Since I haven't gotten to the end of the book yet, I'm hoping at least these characters can gain some sense of personal heroism and overcome their self-consciousness.

The following WWI poem by Rupert Brooke can relate to Jake's character:

"A young Apollo, golden-haired,
Stands dreaming on the verge of strife,
Magnificently unprepared
For the long littleness of life."

I think the poem just completely sums up what Jake's journey is now after the war.



Edited by SteffanieE on 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:47am


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brittanyd
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:34am | IP Logged Quote brittanyd

I think this makes Hemingway's characters a bit unrealistic.  Nobody in the world is just action, they are description also and nobody is always doing something.  it makes them hard to relate to by only showing one part to them because it makes it as if that is the only part of the person.  Action is great if it is a couragous and good action and if it is mixed with something else.

 



Edited by brittanyd on 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:49am
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robD
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:44am | IP Logged Quote robD

I also agree that each character is striving to achieve a level of personal heroism, though they probably wouldn't admit it openly. Although it may seem these people are spending their entire lives inebriated and in some endless party, they really only wish for control. This desire is most apparent in Jake's and Hemmingway's infatuation with bull fighting. Like the bull fighter in the ring, Jake wishes to control his fate and face fear, alone. He admires that one can control such a powerful thing, a notion proven through his awe of Romero's domination of the bull and its movements. With this control of fate and fear comes some form of heroism in self. 



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BrigeshB
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:45am | IP Logged Quote BrigeshB

I have always felt that the best of heroes is not in knowing the right thing but rather doing the right thing. Action always speaks louder than words. Hemingway must feel the same way by constantly having his characters performing actions that are deemed heroic. The hero's actions, to me, is what makes them heroic. This seems to be a popular theme in the writings during or about the first world war. The following poem is an example of this kind of writing written by Walter de la Mare:

How Sleep The Brave (1916)
Nay, nay, sweet England, do not grieve!
Not one of those poor men who died
But did within his soul believe
That death for thee was glorified.

Ever they watched it hovering near
That mystery Ĺyond thought to plumb,
Perchance sometimes in loathed fear
They heard cold danger whisper, come!

Heard and obeyed.  O, if thou weep
Such courage and honour, beauty, care,
Be it for joy that those who sleep
Only thy joy could share.

Even though it is hard to understand, there is a certain praise given to the dead soldiers. They understand that the death wasn't glorious but heroic for the cause. The ACTION of these soldiers gains them their heroism as does the characters in Hemingway earn their heroism through ACTION.



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Samantha S.
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:47am | IP Logged Quote Samantha S.

Absolutely not! I think that the only character in The Sun Also Rises who even remotely "fights for what's right" is Pedro Romero. He's the one who stands up to Cohn--and keeps standing up to Cohn--when he wants to fight him after catching him with Brett. Oh, it's so ridiculous how these people behave! They wake up at noon, drink outrageously, sleep, behave like animals, drink more, drink again, sleep--it's an endless cycle. Everyone falls in love with Brett, and she sleeps with almost all of them. Of course Cohn is going to think it 'meant' something--not everyone sleeps with a hundred men for fun. I was so disgusted when Brett pulled Jake--who she loved and who loves her--away from her fiance--who she's marrying and who loves her--so she could tell him that she's fallen in love with some nineteen-year-old Spanish boy she's only known for a day! And, of course, Mike is doubly upset because not only is she now sleeping with Romero, but she slept with Cohn, too. And everyone knows! And she doesn't care! What a tramp. There's no way that I would ever, ever want to compare these lost and confused characters to anyone truly deserving of being called 'heroic.'

Now that that's out of the way... As for poets during the first world war, not all of them, thankfully, are as depressing as Hemingway and his characters' aimlessness. I think we'd all be in for some trouble if there wasn't much out there besides the dark and depressing. Imagine it; an entire generation worth of drinking and promiscuity. Some of them are extremely interesting; Isaac Rosenberg, for example. From his "Returning, We Hear the Larks," the one line that really sticks with me would be "Like a girl's dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there." There are also poems written by women involved with the war, either nurses or those who had relatives who failed to come home. It's not surprising that a lot of their poetry is depressing...

http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ltg/projects/jtap/tutorials/intro/w omen/



Edited by Samantha S. on 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:48am


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SagarB
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:48am | IP Logged Quote SagarB

BrigeshB wrote:

Even though it is hard to understand, there is a certain praise given to the dead soldiers. They understand that the death wasn't glorious but heroic for the cause. The ACTION of these soldiers gains them their heroism as does the characters in Hemingway earn their heroism through ACTION.

i completely agree that ur right about this poem, however in Hemingway teh charaters are doing a lot of drinking and thats about it. teh soldier gave up their lives for the country, these guys are giving up their lives so they can hav a few more drinks. i dont see how u can compare these two actions as the same thing

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Andrew S
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Posted: 18áNovemberá2005 at 10:49am | IP Logged Quote Andrew S

After the first WORLD WAR, nobody knew what should come next, or what to do next.  How are people expected to continue their lives as normal after witnessing mass murders, their comrades dieing, and being away from your loved ones for so long.  In Richard Aldington's collection of post-war poetry Images of War (1919), one of his poems titled The Lover describes one soldier's feelings as he fights away from home, away from his lover:

The Lover
Though I have had friends
And a beautiful love
There is one lover I await above all.
She will not come to me
In the time of soft plum-blossoms
When the air is gay with birds singing
And the sky is a delicate caress;
She will come
From the midst of a vast clamour
With a mist of stars about her
And great beckoning plumes of smoke
Upon her leaping horses.

And she will bend suddenly and clasp me;
She will clutch me with fierce arms
And stab me with a kiss like a wound
Thad bleeds slowly.

But though she will hurt me at first
In her strong gladness
She will soon soothe me gently
And cast upon me an unbreakable sleep
Softly for ever.

               -Richard Aldington

Sure Jake and his crew aren't doing anything heroic, but I find the fact they are trying to go on with their lives and make the best of things heroic.



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