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The Sun Also Rises (Forum Locked Forum Locked)
 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : The Sun Also Rises
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Candace E
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Posted: 29 November 2005 at 6:32pm | IP Logged Quote Candace E

Out of all the characters in the novel, The Sun Also Rises, Jake is the one person who really seems to keep responsibility number one on his list of priorities.  He is the only one out of all his dead-beat friends that is ever mentioned to be moving around and actually doing some sort of work.  He is also the one that keeps order, when his friends are drunk and oblivious, paying for majority of the bills himself and in the very least, an extremely generous portion of it. Yes, Jake is known to have a good time as well, but it seems that he keeps good intentions intact at all times.  He is extremely insecure with his masculinity because of an injury from WWI, but still feels man enough to protect and be in control of certain situations around him.  While he lets his friend Bill sleep late on their camping trip, he wakes up early enough to start working on his own, in order to get the necessary job done!  He is also said to work as a journalist every now and then.    Jake is the type of man who relies on himself for the completion of a deed.  He is reliable, responsible, and in one way or another, he puts his drunken friends to shame.

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vaidehid
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Posted: 29 November 2005 at 8:29pm | IP Logged Quote vaidehid

Jake's accident during the war has left him trapped. His love for Brett is unmatched, but he cannot be with her due to his injury. As most people have said, this is the reason that Jake is consistently attempting to pay for everything. It gives him a sense of control over life and allows him to feel accepted in society. His isolation, however, can be taken to a higher level. His love for Brett is unrequitted because of his accident but so many of the men he encounters sleep with Brett and carry out the one action he is incapable of therefore making him feel even more helpless.
 
Jake's relationships with his friends seems baseless to me. In the begining of the novel we are told that Jake does not trust people. How can you be such close friends with someone who you don't trust?? I think they stay together because they are all in need of a friend and keep their relationship very light, never letting anything become to tense or emotional. Brett is the only person with whom Jake shares an emotional bond. However, their relationship will never prosper because of Jake's incapability to fulfill her desires - a key factor in any relationship of this kind.
 
Jake's injury is a symbol - not a result - of the war. It's meaning is much more powerful than just another injury. For example, if he had lost his arm it would not have this powerful of an effect on his life, although it would be tragic. This specific injury stops him from being with the woman he loves thus symbolizing the powerful effect war can have on someone's life, whether it's during the war or much after.
 
 


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Damien A.
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Posted: 30 November 2005 at 5:44pm | IP Logged Quote Damien A.

I think that Jake's insistence on paying his way could possibly come from
his being in World War I and being injured. Maybe because he was
wounded in the war he wants no charity from anyone. In war you also
become accustomed to being responsible for yourself. You don't depend
on anyone else to watch your back or do things for you. You take care of
everything you need done yourself and you become very independent. He
could have carried this self-dependence into his life after the war and he
still takes care of everything he is responsible for.

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ChineduJ
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Posted: 30 November 2005 at 7:24pm | IP Logged Quote ChineduJ

Just to respond to Damien's response....
Actually, in war you do not fend for yourself unless you are forced into a situation where you are isolated from everyone else. The whole concept of an Army in war is to fight as 1... do you not remember the saying "no one gets left behind"? You are usually sent to fight in companies when it comes to war. In some occasions you are broken into squads, but I have never heard of a soilder being sent into combat or hostile environment alone...



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Nickd
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Posted: 30 November 2005 at 7:34pm | IP Logged Quote Nickd

In respong to Chinedu's post:

I agree with everything that Chinedu says. This is what i have to say about why Jake has to pay for everything (which was too late to be posted):

--I believe that Jake feels like he has to pay for everything because that is the only way he experiences a good time. On page 152, Jake says to himself, "I paid my way through enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you pay by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances, or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money's worth…" He says this when he was talking about women. He says that he gets joy out of women, so he got something for nothing. But meeting Brett and not being able to have her was the long awaited "bill" that he deserved. Brett is what he has to pay for.  Therefore, Jake feels that everything in life has to be paid for, and in order to enjoy life you must pay for you experiences. Since he is traumatized by the war, all he wants to do it enjoy life. So he pays his dues, by either paying for everyone, like he does at the cafes, or by doing the hard work, like going out early in the morning to catch worms.--

 

Jake feels that everything in life that's good has a consequence. The war which he volunteered for had a good cause, and since they prevailed it was a good thing; however, because of it, he had to pay. The price he paid for the war was his reproductive injury. Also the pleasure he got, or gets, out of woman also was paid. The absence of love or commitment from Brett pays for all the women in his mind (as he says on page 152). Getting you money's worth is practically being satisfied with something that you feel was worth the pay. Since Jake has never experienced anything good, without given a consequence, he feels that he must. Maybe with that mindset, and the phsycological damages of the war made him beleive that it really is true.

 

 



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BrigeshB
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Posted: 30 November 2005 at 10:16pm | IP Logged Quote BrigeshB

I feel that Jake always wanting to pay for everything he does and things like that is the fact that he feels he has to prove himself as well as a bit of paranoia. He seems worried that he might owe someone something, and his trying to regain his manhood only makes this fact alot more difficult to deal with.

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Christina C
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Posted: 01 December 2005 at 1:24am | IP Logged Quote Christina C

Chinedu and Jeremy, you two are lifesavers. Really. =DDD

Jeremy, that reflection of Hemingway in the story is a really interesting point, I think.  According to the biography on this site, he had.... how many wives, 4? He eventually got so bitter that he'd start mocking them, like Pauline's character in The Snows of
Kilimanjaro, and eventually divorce them.
However, rather then them being in such strict roles as the reality and the ideal, quotes like the one where they said, "Oh Jake, we could have such a damned good time together." "Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?" seem to reflect just the opposite. Jake finally seems to break out of Brett's spell, and realize that despite the dependencies and bond that they have together, they can never be together, and never will be.

Chinedu, that quote from p152 seems downright depressing, to me.
It makes me think of a rich hedonist who just pays and pays and pays out his soul into the little games that he played along the way. He isn't simply enjoying the games, no... he's lost his soul through the war, and is just trying to fill the void with happiness/drinks. But it won't take in that barren soul, and he just keeps trying in vain.
Mike, the constantly drunken bankrupt man, is simply a man that has ALREADY finished the stages that Jake is tumbling into, that guy who has already been sucked into the vicious cycle of the Lost Generation. And Jake by the end of the book, having seen what haphazard condition Mike is in, finally takes his stand and tells Brett that it's not going to work out, in a more poetic fashion.


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JosephD
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Posted: 15 December 2005 at 10:40pm | IP Logged Quote JosephD

  Jake is merely a representation of certain aspects of Hemingways life.  They were both involved in WWI and were unable to persue their dreams in America.  Hemingway is just showing the he is a part of the "lost generation", an important movement in literature.  Members of the lost generation rejected the American ideals and sought to fine the meaning of life.  Jake is having a good time with his friends, but always pays for everything.  I believe this shows that Jake isnt just wasting his life, he is trying to really figure out what life is about.  He doesn't know where he is in life because he isn't like all other men.  He is missing something important and will never me able to make that up.  But, by trying to figure out the meaning of his life he will be able to overcome it.  Jake is also trying to prove he is better than his friends who do nothing but drink, hangout, and throw their lives down the drain.

Even though the main characters have spent so much time together and have been around each other for so long, they dont truly know each other.  The main reason they are hanging out is th feelings they have for Brett.  Jake, Cohn, Mike, and Romero all fall in love with Brett.  She is a woman who isnt shy about her love life and is willing to get involved with many men.  There is really no reason for them to be hanging out and not know each other.  If they cared about one another, they would actually try to know each other and get closer together.  I believe that even though Jake does love Brett, he isnt like all his friends.  I think he does understand his friends.  This is because of the importance he sees in life and trying to figure out where he is.  He knows he will never be able to be with Brett, and accepts it.  He is just trying to be friends with these people.  This is shown when Cohn begs for Jakes forgiveness after Cohn knocks him out.  Jake understands that he is Cohn only true friend.  He understands that Cohn has been isolated and made fun of his whole life.

Many people have stated that Jake and Brett will remain together if the novel continues, but never actually get anywhere.  I would disagree with this.  I think Jake going to San Sebastian proves that he doesnt have to be with Brett.  If he really wanted to, he could have figure out where Brett went, but didnt.  Even though i think Jake will be able to stay away from Brett, if Brett wants to continue to be friends, Jake will not be able to resist.  He loves her way too much to turn her down and say that he doesnt want to be around her.  But, if Brett insists on going her own way, Jake will live with it because he knows Brett will never be able to overcome Jakes inability.

I dont think Jake's injury is either or result or symbol or the war.  I believe it is a symbol of post dramatic stress syndrome.  When soldiers come back from war they are often haunted by images they saw.  They still believe they are in war and when tthey hear something loud they think its a bomb going off.  THis is what the injury is doing to Jake.  It has alter his whole life and he can't do what he wants.  Even though he is in love with Brett he isnt able to be with her because of his injury.  He is also insecure about himself
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Paul Hammersten
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Posted: 16 December 2005 at 2:47pm | IP Logged Quote Paul Hammersten

 "  I believe it is a symbol of post dramatic stress syndrome.  When soldiers come back from war they are often haunted by images they saw. "

By what you have said here I am prompted to mention a study available on line.

The Sun Also Rises: A Memory of War - Critical Essay
 
 
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TLSanders
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Posted: 14 April 2006 at 11:13pm | IP Logged Quote TLSanders

I know this is an old thread but I just happened upon it, and I'm intrigued by the responses regarding the future of Brett and Jake's relationship.  There seems to be a lot of agreement on the basic outcomes:  that Brett and Jake will maintain a relationship, that it won't be an exclusive romantic relationship.  However, many seem to attribute the second point to Jake's injury.  I'd argue that it's actually the first point that's attributable to Jake's injury. 

Brett's relationships with men seem to follow a predictable pattern, in which she wins their attentions, follows that to its logical conclusion, grows bored with the conquest and moves on to the next.  Her relationship with Jake, however, never reaches it's "logical conclusion", and as such has a duration that breaks that cycle and allows her to feel a security and even connection beyond what she's accustomed to.  It is, certainly, limited by her character and experience, but it is still a relationship she appears unable to attain with a man with whom she can jump into the sexually-focused short-run relationships she's accustomed to.

For Jake's part, what potent man could watch the woman he loves travel with various men, many of them his friends, and take her back again and again?  It is only, I believe, the fact that Jake knows that his relationship with Brett can never be consummated that allows him to find some uneasy acceptance of this aspect of her behavior, to classify his own relationship with her as something different and apart (which, I believe, is an accurate assessment) from her relationships with other men, and allows the two to co-exist.

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