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 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : The Sun Also Rises
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Mrs Weisgerber
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 10:51am | IP Logged Quote Mrs Weisgerber

BrigeshB wrote:
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.

Savoir-faire is every-where!  XO Mrs W



Edited by Mrs Weisgerber on 18 November 2005 at 12:41pm
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JarretP
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 12:47pm | IP Logged Quote JarretP

I believe that Ernest Hemingway is attempting to portray his characters as heroes, but its hard to feel any attachment to these characters.  They are all plain compared to J.D Slainger's hero Holden, who is very dynamic.  Hemingway's characters heroes are not at all archetypical.  Joseph Campbell in "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" defines a hero as



Edited by JarretP on 18 November 2005 at 1:22pm


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SeanM
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote SeanM

Their swords are words, their attacks are scandals, their shields are cocktails, and their victory is life. WHOA, I think I just had a Hemingway moment!  

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Nick P
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:07pm | IP Logged Quote Nick P

<Incoming transmission: Vessel: [PTMC Vertigo 4}………data entry…………>

 

 

 

 

 

I think that categorizing Hemingway’s characters as heroes would be quite a stretch. Heroes are a defined and elite group of people who are noted for their actions. Indeed, as others have written, Jake and his friends are people of action. The very essence of their being is action. They can not seem to keep themselves still for more than a few minutes. The defining factor here, as I see it, is the type of action in which these characters participate. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary a hero is defined as “a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.” The behavior which the characters demonstrate is not noteworthy of noble in any way. They are either “falling in love,” with someone else, drinking themselves to death, or getting absinthe. These are hardly the venerable qualities of heroes.

 

WW1 Poem

Edmund Blunden

Preparations For Victory (1918)
My soul, dread not the pestilence that hags
The valley; flinch not you, my body young.
At these great shouting smokes and snarling jags
Of fiery iron; as yet may not be flung
The dice that claims you. Manly move among
These ruins, and what you must do, do well;
Look, here are gardens, there mossed boughs are hung
With apples who bright cheeks none might excel,
And there's a house as yet unshattered by a shell.

"I'll do my best," the soul makes sad reply,
"And I will mark the yet unmurdered tree,
The tokens of dear homes that court the eye,
And yet I see them not as I would see.
Hovering between, a ghostly enemy.
Sickens the light, and poisoned, withered, wan,
The least defiled turns desperate to me."
The body, poor unpitied Caliban,
Parches and sweats and grunts to win the name of Man.

Days or eternities like swelling waves
Surge on, and still we drudge in this dark maze;
The bombs and coils and cans by strings of slaves
Are borne to serve the coming day of days;
Pale sleep in slimy cellars scarce allays
With its brief blank the burden. Look, we lose;
The sky is gone, the lightless, drenching haze
Of rainstorms chills the bone; earth, air are foes,
The black fiend leaps brick-red as life's last picture goes.

 

 

             Typical of many poets from WW1, this poem beholds a negative connotation. It focuses on the hardships of war. The decay of lifestyle and the living situation during the war, the feeling of ghostly entities, and a hopeless outlook define this poem. I would expect this type of writing from a person who has experienced war. After all war is not a happy or friendly device. It is a time of horrors and atrocities. It would be enough to give people with even the strongest constitution nightmares and tremors.

 

 

 

                                                                                                              ^MD1033 signing off

<Transmission complete>

 

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Brian B.
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:07pm | IP Logged Quote Brian B.

[QUOTE=Andrew S]

"After the first WORLD WAR, nobody knew what should come next, or what to do next".

Exactly! How could a man continue to live a life of luxury after living a life of war? It just couldn't happen; a man could never just suddenly recooperate after facing a such deadly war as the first world war. As my peer Andrew S. has posted on his blogging entry, Richard Aldington's poem truly expresses what I am intending to say but in more luxurious and fulfilling words. Aldington's poem entitled The Lover goes as follows:  

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

As we have been discussing throughout the course of the year of what makes an individual a hero, personally, I feel as this poem indirectly addresses the characteristics of the typical hero. As in Ernest Hemingay's The Sun Also Rises, the protagonist, Jake, cannot ultimately be characterized as a hero by his actions, but by his will to progress and move on past the thought of World War I, I feel as though Jake is a hero in his own sense.

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lyzj
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:11pm | IP Logged Quote lyzj

I do not consider Hemingway's characters as heroes. But maybe as tragic heroes that exsist in tragedies(a type of play). They each have thier own flaw that causes them to make decisions that lead to dire consequences. Mike's tragic flaw is that he gets really mean when he is drunk.  This turns civil conversations to arguments and changes the mood of everyone around him. Brett's tragic flaw is that she can not be satisfied with the man she is with. This leads to her making herself miserable and leading a life that is constanly moving from place to place. Cohn's tragic flaw is that he is blind and can not see truth. This leads to his life being weighed down by the thought of and following of Brett and his ultimate unhappiness.
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rbarnett
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:13pm | IP Logged Quote rbarnett

It seems like Hemingway portrays the main characters Cohn, Brett, and Jake (and several more people) as voluptuaries. To the most part, they seem aimless in the large city of Paris. They have no admirable goals- to the face of the public. To these characters, their only goal is to, as Thoreau said, “live life deliberately”. They travel, have affairs, eat and drink their hearts out, sleep… They are heroes to themselves.

             Hemingway probably portrays these people in order to contrast them with Romero- a product and proof of the positive aspects of freedom from society and individuality. Romero is passionate and brave. He does not take part in drinking and partying as much as the other main characters.

             As far as other poets of this era go, their portrayal of the war depends on their backround and life. A perfect example of this is Rupert Brooke- a wealthy Englishman and poet. His poems are about the glory of war, love… and feelings from the war.

(http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets/Brooke.html)

Channel Passage

The damned ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
And could think hard of only one thing--you!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!
And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there's a choice--heartache or tortured liver!
A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!

Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.
Do I remember? Acrid return and slimy,
The sobs and slobber of a last year's woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. 'Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose 'twixt love and nausea, heart and belly

 

 

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Christina C
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:13pm | IP Logged Quote Christina C

Ahhh, whenever I think of war poems, I remember a poem written in 1932.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the Gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight,
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.

Then again... this poem doesn't quite fit the mood of Hemingway and Turner, as well as most other War poems. They all seem so worldweary and jaded, beautiful in their own way.
Anyhow, my own opinion of a warrior lies in their heart, not brute strength. All the talent in the world would get you nowhere were you not willing to put your soul into it. With my opinion, more people in non-actiony novels could be heroes... yet, Hemingway being Hemingway, no person can be 'good'. I agree with Steff mostly, the only heroism they may display is for their own self benefit. I suppose some could consider them heroes; They're much like the hero in Stephen Crane's The Mystery of Heroism,Collins. Perhaps I'm pessimistic, but I can't really see their viewpoint changing... I can see them trying to change themselves, seeing themselves in a  new light, but they've gone too far to possibly be reformed.
Actions speak louder then words, that's for sure... but Hemingway's verbs speak only of self indulgence and self-everything. If actions are stronger....



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Mrs Weisgerber
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:15pm | IP Logged Quote Mrs Weisgerber

"usque ad mortem bibendum"

Back to Campbell.  Remember one of Otto Rank's qualifications for the world archetype is that the hero "surrenders himself to the water, usually in a box."  We can make a broad interpretation of this.  It's how Napoleon Dynamite fits the paradigm... albeit via gatorade.  Cheers! 

Please, Hemingway has one 'm'.  You're starting to make me twitchy!

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vaidehid
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Posted: 18 November 2005 at 1:21pm | IP Logged Quote vaidehid

I think that Hemingway's technique of having his characters known for actions rather than description is rahter intriguing. In doing so, Hemingway creates a more realistic chracter and in his own way narrows our imaginations. Through the beginning of the novel, I felt that his lack of description would result in very abstract and unique portrayals of Jake. However, when you read about the actions he carries out you are limiting your thoughts as to what makes up Jake. You can tell through his obsession of bull fighting that Jake is searching for control, however you are capable of making this assumption and adding to Jake's image in your head without knowing much about his appearance.

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