Ernest Hemingway: Allegorical Figures in The Sun A

lso RisesErnest Hemingway: Allegorical Figures in The Sun Also Rises
Thesis: Hemingway deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun Also Rises
as allegorical figures.


OUTLINE I. The Sun Also Rises
A. Hemingway’s novel.

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B. Hemingway’s protagonists are deliberately shaped as allegorical
figures.

C. Novel symbolizing the impotence after W.W.I. II. Jake Barnes.

A. Wound.

1. Damaged genitalia.

2. Can’t make love.

3. Feels desire.

B. Wound is symbol of life in years after W.W.I.

C. Wound from accident.

1. Accidents always happen.

2. Can’t prevent accidents.

3. It was like certain dinners that I remember from the
war. There was much wine and ignored tension, and a
feeling of things coming that you could not prevent.

D. Condition represents a peculiar form of impotence.

E. Restrained romantic.

F. Private grief with Cohn’s public suffering.

G. Strongly attracted to Pedro Romero.

H. Later, when Barnes says that he hates homos and wants to
hit them. III. Lady Brett Ashley.

A. First appears with a group of homosexuals.

B. Wears man’s hat on short hair.

C. Refers to men as fellow chaps.

D. All complete distortion of sexual roles.

E. The war has turned Brett into the equality of a man.

F. This is like Jakes demasculation.

G. All releases her from her womanly nature.

H. Steps off of the romantic pedestal to stand beside her
equals. IV. Robert Cohn.

A. Women dominate him.

B. Old fashioned romantic.

C. Lives by what he reads.

D. To feel like a man.

1. Boxes.

a. Helps him to compensate for bad treatment from
classmates.

b. Turns him into an armed romantic.

2. Likes authority of editing and honor of writing, but is
a bad editor and a poor novelist.

E. Looks for internal strength in outward signs and sources.

F. Willing to suffer publicly and to absorb insults for sake of
true love.

G. He is ready to fight for his lady and knocks down his
opponent like a knight.

1. When he goes against Pedro for Brett.

a. Brett tells him off.

b. Pedro won’t fall.

c. Brett stays with Pedro.

d. Cohn is left alone.

2. Romantic hero met his match.

3. Shows difference between physical and moral victory.

a. Pedro fights for dignity and his spirit is
untouched by Cohn.

b. Cohn’s spirit is crushed.

H. Cohn based his manhood on skill at boxing or on a woman’s
love, not on internal strength. V. Pedro Romero.

A. Manhood stands without women.

B. Reason Barnes is attracted to him.

C. Cohn and Pedro are seen as extremes and Barnes remains the
unhappy medium.

D. Romero provides an image of integrity against which Barnes
and his generation are weighed. From this point, Pedro can
be seen as the real hero, man whose code gives meaning to a
world where love and religion are defuncts, where the proofs
of manhood are difficult and scarce, and where every man
must learn to define his own moral condition and then live
up to them. VI. Summary.

A. Hemingway purposely shaped the main characters in The Sun Also
Rises as allegorical figures.

B. Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley are two lovers desexed by the
C. Robert Cohn is the false knight who challenges their despair.

D. Pedro Romero personifies the good life which will survive
their failure.


The Sun Also Rises is a novel by Ernest Hemingway (1926). Hemingway
deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun Also Rises as allegorical
figures (Bloom, 1985, pp. 107). The novel symbolizes the impotence felt by the
main characters after World War I.

Jake Barnes, the narrator, had a wound from an accident that happened
during the war. The injury damaged his genitalia. As a result, Barnes could no
longer make love, but could still feel the desire. Barnes felt physically less
than a man. Barnes made a comment about hating homos. This shows that Barnes
was insecure about his masculinity. For this reason, he later found himself
strongly attracted to the young bullfighter, Pedro Romero, whose manhood stood
without women.

The wound is a symbol of life in the years following World War I. It
was used as a metaphor of the impotence felt after the war. The wound can also
be seen as a parable that reminded Barnes constantly that accidents could always
happen and could not be prevented. This can be seen in a passage from the novel.

It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine and
ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent
happening. (Hemingway, 1926, p.146)
Lady Brett Ashley was also an allegory of the impotence after the war.

She first appeared with a group of homosexuals, she wore a man’s hat over her
short hair, which gave her a masculine appearance, and she spoke of men as her
fellow chaps. All completed the distortion of sexual roles and released her
from her womanly nature (Bloom, 1985, p. 113). This is similar to Barnes’
condition. Brett stepped off of the romantic pedestal to stand beside her
equals (Bloom, 1985, p. 118).

Robert Cohn was an old fashioned romantic. He lived by what he read and
neglected reality. Women dominated Cohn. To make him feel like a man, Cohn
became a boxer. Boxing turned him into an armed romantic (Bloom, 1985, p.

108). Cohn became an editor and a novelist. He liked the authority of editing
and the honor of writing, but was a bad editor and a poor novelist. He looked
for internal strength in outward signs.

Cohn always found himself ready to fight for a woman and when he did, he
knocked down his opponent like a knight. However, when Cohn went against Pedro
for Brett, Brett told him off, Pedro wouldn’t fall, Brett stayed with Pedro, and
Cohn went home alone. This shows the difference between physical and moral
victory. Pedro fought with dignity and his spirit remained untouched by Cohn;
Cohn’s spirit was crushed (Bloom, 1985, p. 114). Cohn based his manhood on
skill at boxing or on a woman’s love, not on internal strength. Cohn found that
romantic love was dead.

Pedro Romero’s manhood stood without women. This was the reason that
Barnes was so attracted to him. Cohn and Pedro are seen as extremes and Barnes
remains the unhappy medium (Bloom, 1985, p. 114)
Romero provides an image of integrity against which Barnes
and his generation are weighed. From this point, Pedro can
be seen as the real hero, man whose code gives meaning to a
world where love and religion are defuncts, where the proofs
of manhood are difficult and scarce, and where every man
must learn to define his own moral condition and then live
up to them (Bloom, 1985, p. 118).


Hemingway purposely shaped the main characters in The Sun Also Rises as
allegorical figures. Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley were two lovers desexed by
the war. Robert Cohn was the false knight who challenged their despair. Pedro
Romero personified the good life which will survive their failure.


References
Baron’s Educational Series, Inc. (1984). The Sun Also Rises- The
Story. [WWW]. URL http://www.kidzone.com:/ecc/sunalso3.htm
Bloom, H. (ED.). (1985). Modern Critical Views: Ernest
Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House Publishers
Hemingway, E. (1926). The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles
Scribners’ Sons
English