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rbarnett
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 6:06pm | IP Logged Quote rbarnett

Michael Barnett

The reasons Jake always insists on paying his way are both psychological and moral. Early in the story, the reader discovers that the main character, Jake, is impotent. As he says in the beginning of the novel, “It is fully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.” Jake was harmed in the war, and he had absolutely no control over what had happened. He is sexless, and, thus, a part of his manhood is missing. There is an empty hole in his heart, and he feels he can fill in the hole in the form of treating other people to drinks and meals. It is in civilian life that Jake has a chance to structure his own “battles”: he has complete control over his readjustment to civilian life. Therefore, he can now attempt to maintain good behavior, at least on the outside. 

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victor c
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 7:06pm | IP Logged Quote victor c

Rob d. has done it yet again. I agree with him when it comes to why Jake always gets the tab. On one hand, it was the war, not his war wound that taught him to be responsible for himself, but on the other there is the bull fighting. Although I don't think that it is what originated Jake's philosophy. I think that Jake was always one who took care of himself and the war just supported that philosophy, THen when Jake became an "afecionado" he materializes his philosophy to what we witness in the novel. He pays his way through life, just like the bull fighter dominates the bull. Jake wants to dominate his life, and the only way to do so is by paying his way through everything. Jake also uses his money to make friends like Rob said. Before leaving to "rescue Brett he pays a bit extra so that he can have friends and that's why he likes France. But how are friends and controlling your destiny, which is essentially what Jake tries to do, related? Well just like Pedro, he must conrol his bull but be close enough to it so that the two are one. You must love your bull before you can kill him and that is why Pedro was so good. In a conversation that he had with Brett he says tht the bulls are his friends and she asks him if he kills his friends and he says yes so that they do not kill me. Jake must have friends in his life and he must be close to them, but he must at all times be above them and in control of them so that his friends and his life does not control him. He made that mistake already. He lost control of the war and so he lost his manhood and that altered his destiny with Brett. He wasn't going to let it happen again.

The next issue is a tricky one. I believe that the characters know each other well not because they are close friends but because they're lives are so similar. Back in France in the beginning of the novel, when Jake went to a club to find it empty he knew at which other club his friends would be at. Why? It is because it is the club he would be at. They live similar lives and therefore they know each other like they know themselves.

I think that Jake and Brett will continue on being what they are now. they can never be more and they can never be less. For one reason, Jake loves her too much, and the second reason is because she would've loved him if it weren't for his injury. they will never be more than would-be lovers. They would've made a great couple. Is'nt it pretty to think so?

Finally, I think that Jake's wound is a symbol of the war, not a result of it because like Rob said, his injury shows how Jake is not normal, just like the Lost Generation can not be normal or accepted in the normal world. His wound is an abnormality that will haunt him and remind him always that he is different.
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SeanM
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote SeanM

Jake's insistence on paying for everything is the one thing that makes him feel important and necessary. Victor and Rob have the right idea with jake's philosophy, that is he tries to control what is uncontrollable. Though, I do have to disagree with Victor that in fact they do not know each other very well, in fact they don't know each other at all! Everyone in the group only knows what everyone else is willing to present. They all moved to Paris to hide from their troubles, so why wouldn't they hide themselves as well? I may sound like a conspiracy theorist right now, but it all makes sense to me and that's all that matters. The only thing that has kept them together is their superficial relationship they call "friendship". They're only friends so that way they don't appear to be lonely, which is what they all are. I think the whole Brett/Jake realtionship is all messed up anyway, so it couldn't get any better or worse. Brett is a person who doesn't really love the person that she's in a relationship with, but rather she lusts them. Jake is a place for Brett to dump her emotional baggage, and jake will never be more than a loney baggage cart. I would say that Jake's injury is a symbol of war, because it is a loveless thing that feels nothing. War tends to bring people back differently than when they left. My question for Hemingway is one that might never be answered. My question is "Why? Why did you write this?" 

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Mrs Weisgerber
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 8:19pm | IP Logged Quote Mrs Weisgerber

victor c wrote:
His wound is an abnormality that will haunt him and
remind him always that he is different.


So if I am hearing you all right, Jake will ALWAYS pay. The meaning is much
broader than banknotes. He will pay and pay and pay, no choice. What a
heartbreaking situation.
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kevinf
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote kevinf

I think the reason Jake pays his way through everything is not because he wants to feel above the rest of his generation, as was previously mentioned, but to simply feel equal with the rest of his generation. His impotency that resulted from the war makes him feel inferior to the rest, and paying his own makes him feel important and necessary, as Sean said. I would agree mostly with what Sean said, that the characters really don't know each other at all. They do talk right before getting drunk at a party, but the extent of their conversation usually is where they want to go and who they want to go with. They never really break the surface, especially at the roaring fiesta in Spain, a weeklong drunken extravaganza, where the only time not spent drinking is time spent asleep.

I feel that Jake can become more than just the taker of "emotional baggage" from Brett, though it is going to require a lot of work on his part. He would have to completely change his philosophy, gaining a feeling of equality with his peers rather than focusing on his one flaw, gaining a positive self esteem.



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SteffanieE
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 9:50pm | IP Logged Quote SteffanieE

I think Jake feels that he pays for everything to show that he is responsible for himself. All the characters in this novel are obsessed with money, but Jake takes this to a higher level than any other character. Jake probably feels that he is the most incompetent out of all of his friends because of his injury. He is so extremely self-conscious that he can be classified as having an inferiority complex. So, because of this Jake feels he has to compensate for his disabilities by showing his ability to take care of himself as well as all his friends so that they would see him at an equal level to their own. This is Jake’s purpose, his meaning in postwar life. He wants to show that he can uphold himself and turns to money to conceal his emotional wounds.

I do not think all the characters know each other very well, however, there are two strong relationships throughout the entire novel. Jake’s relationship with Bill and Brett are the strongest out of the rest. Jake and Bill can really open up to each other like during their fishing trip in Chapter XII. They showed a deep respect for one another and love each other in a non-sexual way. Jake’s relationship with Brett is also really strong especially because they had the potential to have a true relationship if only Jake had not gotten his injury. Brett can always turn to Jake when she has a problem and Jake in turn shows his loyalty to her by helping her out and really not having interest in any other woman. I think the characters are able to stay together because they rely on each other. Each relationship they have with each other intertwines and creates a web with mainly Jake and Brett in the middle as web weavers or spiders. Brett relies on Cohn and Mike for her sexual needs but also relies on Jake for her emotional needs. Jake, in turn, relies on Brett for her so-called love for him and he also relies on Bill for his understanding and friendship.

Since the story of TSAR takes place in the early to mid 1920’s I feel that in the coming years, if the story were to continue, these characters would change even more drastically through their experiences. They currently live in a time of a booming economy and continue to splurge on traveling, drinking, etc. However, come the late 1920’s during the Great Depression, I believe that once money does not have a factor as a shield for all emotional wounds, Brett and Jake may be able to have a true and wholesome relationship. I believe that Brett and Jake will continue to have a close friendship but maybe Brett can, over time, finally develop a deeper appreciation of Jake’s love and care for her despite his inability to please her sexually.

Jake’s injury is a symbol of the lost generation. The loss of Jake’s manhood symbolizes his generation’s loss of purpose in life. His generation united in fighting in the war…then the war ended. ‘What now?’ they ask. Throughout the entire novel, Jake has the most understanding of what it is like to live in the postwar generation. He sees everyone else around him stressing on where to go, what to do, what their purposes are in their lives, but he himself is different from them. Jake accepts the life he lives which is further proved by his injury. He has probably felt the most dissatisfaction with his life because of his injury; however, this has allowed him to have this deeper understanding and appreciation of life despite his uselessness. Moreover, who can Jake cheat on?…no one! His injury has rendered him useless in the intimacy department, but this in turn keeps him somewhat innocent and pure compared to Brett. He cannot be closely intimate with any other woman and he knows and treasures the fact that if nothing had happened to him, he and Brett would have a successful relationship with each other as shown in the last couple of lines of the novel.

My question about Hemingway/TSAR is…Can the term "lost generation" refer to other postwar generations in the past or future or can it only refer to this generation in TSAR?



Edited by SteffanieE on 27 November 2005 at 10:03pm


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Brian L.
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 9:59pm | IP Logged Quote Brian L.

Jake always pays for his tab because he wants to feel like he is on an equal status as everyone else. Because of Jake war wound, he feels as though he is inferior to his comrades. When he was injured in the war, he lost his manhood; now, he is trying to cover up his flaw by paying for everything that he is responsible for. Rob D stated that in order for Jake to keep his friends around, he would continually need to show them money. I definitely agree with Rob, Jake does treat all of his friends to drinks a lot because he wants to be able to depend on his comrades, just like he is able to depend on the French.

I would say that the main characters in this novel know each other very well. Jake and Brett share the biggest connection; Brett relies on Jake to keep her secrets, and get her out of trouble when she cannot keep it to herself. Like Rob D said, Brett shares confidential information with Jake that she will not share with anyone else. Jake and Cohn may be different at times, but Jake always knows what Cohn is thinking about. Every character is able to get along because they all share some common qualities.

If the novel were to continue, Brett and Jake would never get together. Jake would remain a constant outlet for Brett to empty all her problems on. Jake may be in love with Brett, but she does not have the same feeling for him; her action of constantly going after other men is a sign that a relationship between herself and Jake would never work out as long as Brett remains attractive to other men. Rob D. brought up the point that in time Brett will lose her good looks, and settle for Jake. He also said that Brett would become just like Francis. I would have to disagree with Rob, even if Brett and Jake would ever get together, I think that Jake would not be able to handle a relationship with her. Brett would try to control Jake; as a result, Jake would send her away just like Cohn did to Francis.

Jake wound is a symbol of the war. His wound represents the numbness that many people have toward life after they leave a war. Just like Jake’s wound, a war is cold and shows no feeling. After WWI, many people were left scared physically and mentally. The scar that Jake has is a reminder to himself that he has experienced something that no one else can relate too, and he that he is different from other people.
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Samantha S.
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 10:27pm | IP Logged Quote Samantha S.

I'd like to go ahead and step out of line here and... disagree. (Alright, cut it out; I know I wasn't the only person waiting for it...)

If the novel were to continue, I honestly don't believe that Brett and Jake would continue to see each other. The conclusion of the story was written in such a way that it leads the reader to believe that exact thing--that it is a conclusion. To be frank--and I'm sorry for referencing myself yet again, but it works--when I end a story, and my two main characters are saying they had a good time, but that's that, goodbye forever, well then, guess what that means? It's goodbye forever. (Now... for all those who have read my writing, or know how I work my characters, I do realize that you're laughing at me, because you know full well that I'd rather die myself than put my characters through something like that... But you keep quiet and play along, and I'll love you forever...) When I read the ending of The Sun Also Rises, it didn't strike me as an 'exception.' Even their dialogue at the end lends something to think about. Brett's off-hand comment and Jake's ten cent response have second and third levels of understanding, and I don't feel that they would be able to be together after this moment, after this exchange, even if there had been a glittering hope before then.

"Oh, Jake," Brett said. "We could have had such a damned good time together."
"Yes, I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

In my opinion, Brett is trying to say that she could never be with Jake. She knew right from the start that she couldn't, and wouldn't ever, be with him. If circumstances were different, however, she would be more willing. Those circumstances are, to me, the time and place of their meeting and falling in love. She was in the middle of a nasty divorce when the situation began, and now she's in the middle of getting married (and, naturally, two separate affairs). Who has time for the true love of her life when she's embroiled in twelve other completely fake and emotionless relationships? Please!

Jake's response to her quite heartless, thoughtless comment carries with it a very... how to put it... offended undertone. I'm sure he didn't appreciate her brushing off their feelings for each other as if love isn't important. It's just one of those four letter words that people shouldn't use and the literal meaning of which little kids don't completely understand. (I think that's just me... yea, pretty sure that's just me.) Either way, Jake feels miffed, to put it plainly. His reply, however, reveals so many more worlds.

"Isn't it pretty to think so?"

In other words, 'sure, Brett--you might think we would've been happy together...' But the reality of it is that a lasting relationship with Brett would have either not made him happy, or been simply impossible, and thus not even worth the effort of imagining. To me, it sounds like he's admitting (both to her and himself) that he never stood a chance. Realistically, he didn't. Brett is the kind of person who can't really be with anyone but herself.

That's the end...



Edited by Samantha S. on 27 November 2005 at 10:29pm


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AlexisB
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 10:29pm | IP Logged Quote AlexisB

I think Jake always picks up the tab for things not only because of, as numerous people have said, to compensate for what can be considered a loss of masculinity as a result of his war wound, but as a result of how he has become accustomed to living.  Jake lives a life of paying for the very unfortunate consequence of his injury.  This consequence is a life of longing for a romantic relationship with Brett that they will never be able to share.  He did not want the injury, he did not deserve the injury, but he is paying for it every day of his life (as Mrs. Weisgerber pointed out in her last post).  Therefore, whether or not he wants to pay, needs to pay, or should pay the tab, he does.  He is accustomed to being responsible for the unfavorable results of various occurrences, whether they are war-related or dinner- and wine-related.

I think that the characters in The Sun Also Rises know each other very well.  Brett knows that Jake loves her, and Jake knows she loves him in return.  Brett has numerous affairs and one-night flings, and she's getting engaged to Mike.  However, she, as robD pointed out, always goes to Jake to talk about serious emotional issues and to confess her true love for him.  They often talk of their great want for a relationship with each other and the pain they experience from realizing that their wants will never be fulfilled.  Mike knows that Brett doesn't love him; he knows about all her affairs despite her efforts to keep them a total secret.  Mike also has Cohn all figured out.  He is totally aware of his love for Brett, as he makes clear in his torturous insults.  He furiously asks Cohn if he knows when he's wanted or not, implying that Brett obviously doesn't want him.  Mike is perhaps reflecting this question from his own mind, because Mike definitely knows Brett doesn't want him either.  However, there is one section of this group of emotionally distraught friends that doesn't know each other very well;  Jake does not seem to understand Cohn very well.  He hates how Cohn has become more pompous after returning to Paris from the US in the beginning of the novel, and he can't understand why Cohn takes so much abuse from Frances while he is with her.  At the end of the book, Jake does not seem to be very understanding of Cohn while he is upset after their fistfight.  Jake sees Cohn as immature and extremely un-manly.  However, he ultimately shakes Cohn’s hand and forgives him for his childish, “wussy” actions.  Perhaps this is because it was one of the only times Jake could relate to how Cohn was feeling- un-masculine.  Jake constantly feels stripped of his masculinity as a result of his injury, and Cohn feels stripped of his masculinity as he begs for mercy for his ignorant actions.

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ariyanb
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Posted: 27 November 2005 at 11:17pm | IP Logged Quote ariyanb

               I basically agree with everyone.  The physical and mental wounds that Jake still bears from the war are his premise for always wanting to pick up the tab and pay his own way.  During his wartime experience, Jake endured a terrible injury in the groin area, rendering him unable to engage in sexual activity.  Because of this loss of manhood so to speak, Jake becomes extremely conscious of his masculinity resulting in perpetual male insecurity.  Jake’s inadequacy is amplified by the fact that the love of his life says she cannot be with him, citing his wound as reason.  He always pays for himself and others in a subconscious effort to prove his worth to the world despite his debilitating grievance.  Jake feels that he must appear to be affluent and succeed in life in order to make up for his other failures.  It is this overall psychological insecurity that fuels almost every aspect of his life after the war, a true testament to the tragic scars that can plague a soldier years after the combat has ceased. 

 

Another reason for Jake’s desire to always pay for everything is his link to the aptly named “lost generation” of war veterans.  After the war, he was cast out into the world as somewhat of an outcast, without direction or purpose; he reacts to this occurrence by viewing others with a cynical eye and drowning his sorrows in unhealthy amounts of alcohol.  He separates himself from others, living like a hermit inside his own head; this sense of individually stems partly from his unwillingness to accept the possibility of relating to others as well as his male insecurity induced desire of self-reliance.

 

Although they spent a lot of time together throughout the course of the novel, the main characters do not really have an intimate knowledge of each other.  They usually encounter each other in bars or with other people around, not to mention theyre always wasted.  I don’t really see how you can really understand someone if you’ve both just downed 2 bottles of wine.  The characters merely go through the charade of friendship, of having a normal life.  Bill and Jake understand each others feelings because they both experienced the horrors of the war, but this understanding never reaches a personal level, as the two are unwilling or unable to open up.  The two most relatively compatible characters in the book it seems are Brett and Jake, who could have had a romantic relationship had it not been for Jake’s injury.  They both seem to understand each other and the lustful tension between them is palpable in the novel.  But even though they are close enough to be almost lovers, Jake doesn’t know Brett well enough to understand they could never be together; she simply cannot commit to one man and she is put off by his war wound. 

 

Jakes war wound is definitely a symbol of the war, as most people have already articulated.  The injury is a physical manifestation of his psychological anguish; try as he does to forget about his past, his memories always come back to haunt him.  Just as his physical disabilities limit and affect his everyday actions, his mental war wounds also impinge on the post war normality for which he desperately longs. 

 

um yeah

 



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