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ChrisM
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 1:08pm | IP Logged Quote ChrisM

I feel that Jakes insistence on always paying the bill comes from the fact that he nearly lost his manhood in the war.  He tries to pay for everything hoping he will be thought of as more of a man in doing so.

I think that the characters in TSAR just really follow each other around.  Its like a big game of cat and mouse.  As Alex said, "They simply seem to be 'drinking buddies,'" its true.  They just follow each other the every place.  I think that Brett and Jake know the most about eah other.  They seem to be good friends with each other. 

I feel will ever happen between Jake and Brett.  Even though Jake is madly in love with Brett, she will never feel the same about him.  Jake can't accept the fact that Brett just wants to be friends and he will continue to follow her around, but they will only be friends.

Reading through the post I really like how Ryan describes whether the injury is a result of the war or a symbol.  War can have a terrible affect on someone.  What happened to Jake was very emotional and truly devastating. 

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CarolM
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote CarolM

     I agree with Dan and Justin that Jake always pays his way because he has an inferiority complex.  He thinks that he is not up to par with the people around him.  If he pays for himself he is showing his independence from them.  Although they are his friends, he constantly gets annoyed at them.  His reasoning is that Mike is a bad drunk, Cohn is an annoying puppy dog and Brett won't commit to him [Jake].  Friendship to Jake means having a good time.  They are all drinking buddies who share a couple of good memories; nothing big or life changing.  He wants to tell them and the other people they meet that he is not completely like them.  He is able to pay his own way, unlike Brett who went out with a guy just because he payed for everything.  He doesn't want his friends behavior associated with him. 

     If the novel were to continue I think that something would happen between Brett and Jake but she would eventually get bored of him or want something more exciting and leave him.

     I don't really want to know much about Hemingway other than why he wrote the book.  I do want to say that while I was reading the book I got very confused between Jake and Hemingway.  They seemed so similar.  They were both Americans in Europe, both journalists, both in war, both part of a group of people who talked together.  It was a wierd feeling for me.

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robD
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 2:05pm | IP Logged Quote robD

Thus far, most posters (if one can refer to those who post in this manner) have attributed Jake’s insistence on paying his own way to an “inferiority complex” derived from his particular war wound. It has been stated that he doesn’t feel like much of a man anymore and that he must continually dish out money, so to speak, in order to make up for his shortcoming. While this is a valid point, it is not the only one to make. I also believe that Jake’s philosophy of paying his own way originated from his love of bull fighting, like I previously stated in the other message board about heroes. In the art of bull fighting, the toreo, or bull fighter, ventures into the ring alone to combat with a giant beast. Through clever movements, a small man, in comparison to the bull at least, is able to control the beast. After viewing such a spectacle, Jake may now feel that an individual is the only one who can really alter his own fate, or control the bull. One may also see this particular point in Jake’s admiration of Pedro and his firm management of the bull from a safe distance. He need not rely on the support of others in his battle for, in the end, it really is just Jake (the bull fighter) and fate (the bull) in the ring skirmishing. However, I’m not close minded enough to believe that Jake’s strong admiration of bull fighters is the only reason for his persistent paying. I also feel that Jake wishes to pay in order to keep his friends not to distance himself from them, as Maggie and Jarret previously stated. Evidence of this may be found in Jake’s final comment while in France (before he ran back to Brett). He had just paid his tab, and figured that he may as well pay the waiter a bit extra, for he never really knows when he’ll need this man as a friend. This is what he liked about the French, they were a simple people that would remain loyal (“if they remembered you”) just as long as you handed them a bit of money. Perhaps Jake also felt this way towards his friends. In order to keep these people around, he would continually need to show them money.

The next important question to ponder pertains to how well the characters truly know each other. In my opinion (contrary to that of others), these characters know each other quite well. It is Brett that always tends to run back to Jake when there is a problem or a secret that she cannot deal with alone. She trusts him with confidential information and asks him for advice. Bill and Jake also show somewhat of a bond gained from the war, though it may not seem this way from the way they talk. They just share enough of the same views and trust each other greatly, a feeling that is more sense by the reader from Bill strong loyalty and Jake’s fondness of Bill. It seems that every character knows something about another character that will connect the two. Even Mike’s knowledge of Cohn’s love for Brett displays Mike’s understanding of Cohn’s character.

Next, the topic of Brett and Jake’s relationship comes into play. Everyone so far has been content to say that Jake and Brett will never be. Brett will remain just as shallow for as long as she lives and Jake can never offer her more than he does now. However, I believe that in time, when Brett begins to lose her beauty due to age, she may become somewhat of a Francis. It has already happened to some extent; she realized she was too old for Pedro and allowed him to go free, though he would have happily married her, albeit, she would have had to grow her hair out longer. Soon she will realize that the most she can hope for out of a relationship is companionship. It is at this time, she will run back to Jake and his love with finally be received.

Finally, I believe that Jake’s injury is a symbol of the war; it shows how the lost generation will never fit into the accepted norm of the real world. They try to live carelessly and forget about the past and the war, but like Jake’s injury, it will come back to haunt them. Their relationships will crumble and their lives will fall apart. I guess it is in this respect that I agree with the other posters.



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dplatt
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 3:14pm | IP Logged Quote dplatt

I enjoyed Rob's insightful comment into the world of bullfighting, and I hope that I can add a little bit.  Bullfighting is a fixed sport.  The Sun Also Rises touched upon it a little, but bullfighting is a precisely controlled art that feigns a sport of danger:

Spanish-style bullfighting, the type of bullfighting practiced in the Pamplona arena in The Sun Also Rises, consists of three phases with 5 different helpers to the torero (the main fullfighter, also called matador [literally "killer"]).

In the first phase, two picadores begin to wear down the bull.  Each picador sits upon a heavily armed horse, and the bull is encouraged to attack the armed horses.  Obviously, the horses receive little damage, and the bull only tires itself out.  Then, the picadores thrust lances into the body of the bull to draw blood (weakening the bull) and to make the bull more erratic (making it easier to conquer).

In the second phase, three banderillas attempt to plant two harpoons each into the body of the bull.  Only after the attempts of the picadores and the banderillas  does the matador attempt to finish off the bull.

Other allegations that the bull's eyes are covered with petroleum jelly (to blur the bull's vision), that the bull's horns are filed down (to offset its aim), that the bull's kidneys are hit with sacks (to make its charging erratic), and even that the bull is tranquilized, but none of these accusations have been substantiated officially.

So what was the point of my discourse about bullfighting?  Bullfighting is a fixed sport, yet bullfighting is Jake Barne's passion in life.  Why?  Jake wants his own life to be fixed like bullfighting; he wants the security of the torero facing a debilitated bull but the glory and the exhiliritation of a feigned exciting life, the life of charging bull.  By always paying his way, Barnes is creating his own superficial team of  picadores and banderillas that will be Barnes's companions as long he pays.  Barnes effectively has the people around him living the life of fighting a vicious charging bull (i.e. Lady Ashley's vivacious promiscuity, Mike's perpetual bankruptcy, and Cohn's futile lust for Lady Ashley), but Barne's is protected from their woes: Barnes is the torero; he experiences all the glory and excitement, but his friends are the ones who truly experience life and danger.  Fundamentally, the torero's main art is the waving of cape, and Barnes's flare is to pay for his way and for others'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_fighting (I know Wikipedia isn't technically a valid source, but I confirmed much of its contents with someone who has viewed bullfighting firsthand)



Edited by dplatt on 27 November 2005 at 3:18pm
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HeatherN
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 4:26pm | IP Logged Quote HeatherN

In The Sun Also Rises the core group of characters - Cohn, Brett, Jake, etc. - seem, at first glance, to be a close-knit group of friends. However, through reading th novle it becomes clear that all is not well between them. Cohn and Jake, for example, are often telling each other how wonderful they are. Jake's narrative, on the other hand, often shows Cohn as stubborn, selfish, or stupid. In fact, after the introductory paragraph, most of the cracks made about Cohn being Jewish come from Jake, who claims to be his best friend. Similarly, everyone seems to be fighting over who Brett truly loves, including her husband, the married man she took a vacation to the islands with - Cohn, and the man she claims to love - Jake. Throughout the novel this suposedly close group of friends shows the truth in holding one's friends close and one's enemies closer.

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paulinaz
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 5:15pm | IP Logged Quote paulinaz

    I also agree with what has been said about Jake and Brett continuing to be friends, if that's what you consider them to be now. I think their relationship will continue on forever, but i wouldn't exactly call them friends. For two people to be considered friends there must be a give-and-take relationship, but in this case it only conisits of Jake giving and Brett taking. They have started a cycle: Jake will drop anything and everything for Brett, Brett will use Jake and fall in love with yet another guy, her new relationship will end, and Jake will come to the rescue. Although Jake may one day realize this cycle, he'll never be able to bring himself to not come to her rescue. He will never be able to resist her because he is hopelessly in love with her. He probably knows that there is no way that Brett will ever actually date him because of his injury, but it doesn't matter; he will always be trapped.

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Andrew S
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 5:21pm | IP Logged Quote Andrew S

I believe, like many who have already posted, that Jake's insistence to pay for everything is due to a wound he obtained fighting in WWI which left him unable to have sex and, consequently, belittled his sense of his manhood.  However, after reading Rob D.'s post, I learned an alternate reason why Jake may act the way he does and it really made sense.  Rob may have, again, put a Mercedes job on a Toyota assignment, but his response was very well written and opened me up to another side of Jake Barnes which stuck to my mind.  I like how Rob parallels Pedro and bull fighting to Jake and his fight with fate and how he ties Pedro's control of the bull to Jake's constant paying of what he's responsible for as an attempt to control his own life.  Bravo Rob

Also, almost all of those who posted, I feel that if the book were to continue, Brett and Jake would become nothing more than they are now.  Unless Brett's sex-craved character changes overnight into a longing for relationship, I feel Brett would never love Jake any more or give him any more of a chance, than she already does.



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DariusC
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 5:22pm | IP Logged Quote DariusC

     Jake insistence on always paying his way, whether they are in the regularly visited cafés or in taxi cabs, characterizes his responsibility to attend to the needs of others.  He constantly puts others down by feeling urged to offer, seemingly, much-needed assistance. 

These characters do know each other pretty well. Jake lusts Brett and wishes for a possible romantic relationship between themselves.  He knows her secrets and even looks for her to confide in him.  I do not suppose a romantic relationship will become from Brett and Jake.  At the end of the novel, Jake realizes the relationship will never pass even with the lurking apparent discontent from Brett.

Jakes injury was a symbol of war, isolating its participants from ever reclaiming their previous standing in society.

I have some inquiries about the nature of Hemingway's intent from the telling of this novel.  Why was he so keen on traveling? What led him to believe this story needed to be told? What lessons are we, the audience, supposed to take from this novel?

 

----------------------------------------------------

[Interesting GoogleFight: killakath vs. dfjasa }lowest i could get it] lo siento, pero yo no lo puedo hacer mas pequeño.

-----------------------------------------------------

DARIUS



Edited by DariusC on 27 November 2005 at 5:24pm
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rbarnett
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 5:30pm | IP Logged Quote rbarnett

I believe that Jake’s insistence on paying everyone’s way is based on his previous experience in the war. As many of my classmates felt, this made him want to take control of his situations and make them run the way he wanted them to run. However, I feel that this position he is in- that is , the position of one with more knowledge and experience of hardship than the others – puts him on a platform elevated from the other others. Jake narrates with the experience of building his life up from a time of privation. Now he feels more responsible and that he must control his life. Hemingway strategically puts Jake in this special position.

I believe most of the characters know each other quite well with the exception of Cohn and Brett. These two characters are walking masks who adeptly switch between their alter egos. Brett has neither character depth nor any major development through the course of the novel. True, she does open up to Jake at times – like when she is despondent about her experience with men- but she is not very truthful to the other characters on her true feelings. The reader learns she is promiscuous and quite indiscriminating about her taste of men- as long as they are wealthy (usually) and fit for a physical relationship, she will be with him. Jake’s issue renders him unable to ever be with her.

 In Cohn’s position, he is not too open- he is quite reserved. He opens up at times to Jake- and may discuss his philosophy on life- but he always seems quiet. They are all kept together by their insecurities- they need each other’s company in the isolated city of Paris.  

 Jake’s wound is result of the war. WWI marks the beginning of a new generation of wars- those which humans are spared with no expense. The mechanical and merciless nature of the war is symbolized by Jake’s wound in that he, like the other soldiers, had little control of his fate in the war fought by technology.       

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rolson
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 5:45pm | IP Logged Quote rolson

             Like I said before, I believe Jake pays for everything because he wants to prove to everyone that he is not a member of the lost generation. He wants to show everyone that he is not like his cohorts who get drunk constantly and throw their lives away. He has a job, unlike many of his friends, but he feels that isn’t enough to prove he is different. So if he pays for everything, it is almost like he shows that he is older than his friends by almost taking care of them. Even though he has fun with them, such as when he, Bill, Cohn, and Mike dance around Brett in Spain, he still wants everyone to know that he is above them.

              I believe the main characters don’t know each other half as well as they should. Think about it: when do these “friends” see each other? Bars, parties, etc. They always meet in a public environment. So, how can secrets be shared in places where you are yelling just to be heard and the person you’re talking to is half listening because he is so drunk? They are good public acquaintances. They like each other’s company, and some don’t even like them that much. Michael and Cohn, for example, hate each other, but they don’t even know each other that well. They only hang out together because of the ties between Brett and Robert’s love for her. The only people, I believe, who know each other fairly well are Bill and Jake, who have known each other through war, an episode that could bond anyone. No one but Bill really knows what Jake has gone through, and he even cannot fully understand Jake’s pain since Jake has been permanently altered physically. But, he has a better understanding than anyone, so whenever he is feeling upset about what has happened, he is bound to go to Bill. Also, Jake and Brett know each other fairly well. They have gone through so much, and they long to be together, but Brett refuses because of Jake’s physical handicap. They have told each other so much about other relationships, especially Brett. She tells him how she has cheated with other men, such as Cohn or longs for other men, such as Pedro. She even went to Jake for help when she ran off with Pedro. Jake is like her diary. She spills all of her feelings to him and he listens, with pain, of course, because he still loves her. But still, he knows her like the back of a book. But, other than those two relationships, this group doesn’t know much about each other. Mike hates Cohn because he slept with and loves Brett. That isn’t a big secret because Cohn makes it so obvious by constantly staring at her and trying to always be with her; he even missed out on fishing with Bill and Jake in Spain so he could wait for Brett’s train to arrive. Bill and Mike know each other through Jake, so they are mere acquaintances, as well as Jake and Mike. Mike tells Jake how he hates Cohn, but that also isn’t a big secret since he constantly gets into public quarrels with Cohn. Brett and Cohn also have an acquaintance type of relationship. Even though they spent the weekend together, they don’t talk much after. Cohn basically follows Brett everywhere, but he has no idea that she really doesn’t like him and wants him to stop following her. Brett and Mike, although they are in a romantic relationship with each other, still don’t know each other that well because a real relationship wouldn’t involve other men, such as Cohn and Pedro. Brett doesn’t tell Mike half of what she tells Jake. So, this group of people meets publicly because of a few strong ties between really, Jake and Brett. Whenever Jake and Brett meet, Mike and Cohn automatically come, but they really don’t know much about anyone.

          I believe if the novel were to continue, Jake and Brett would remain friends. I think Jake finally has enough common sense to realize that Brett needs someone who is capable of having sex; it is too important to her. I believe he has finally understood that he needs to move on to someone who he can have a future with, instead of waiting on one person who has hurt him so much already.

          I believe Jake’s injury is, as others have previously stated, a symbol of war. Many who come back from war are permanently altered by what they have seen. Many end relationships they have had because of the change in personality. So, Jake’s injury has changed his relationship with Brett and has made him much more depressed.



Edited by rolson on 27 November 2005 at 5:48pm
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