The Sun Also Rises - Heroes

The Hemingway Hero Prevalent among many of Ernest Hemingway\'s
novels is the concept popularly known as the "Hemingway hero", an
ideal character readily accepted by American readers as a "man\'s man".

In The Sun Also Rises, four different men are compared and contrasted
as they engage in some form of relationship with Lady Brett Ashley, a
near-nymphomaniac Englishwoman who indulges in her passion for sex and
control. Brett plans to marry her fiancee for superficial reasons,
completely ruins one man emotionally and spiritually, separates from
another to preserve the idea of their short-lived affair and to avoid
self-destruction, and denies and disgraces the only man whom she loves
most dearly. All her relationships occur in a period of months, as

Brett either accepts or rejects certain values or traits of each man.

Brett, as a dynamic and self-controlled woman, and her four love
interests help demonstrate Hemingway\'s standard definition of a man
and/or masculinity. Each man Brett has a relationship with in the
novel possesses distinct qualities that enable Hemingway to explore
what it is to truly be a man. The Hemingway man thus presented is a
man of action, of self-discipline and self-reliance, and of strength
and courage to confront all weaknesses, fears, failures, and even
death.

Jake Barnes, as the narrator and supposed hero of the novel, fell
in love with Brett some years ago and is still powerfully and
uncontrollably in love with her. However, Jake is unfortunately a
casualty of the war, having been emasculated in a freak accident.

Still adjusting to his impotence at the beginning of the novel, Jake
has lost all power and desire to have sex. Because of this, Jake and

Brett cannot be lovers and all attempts at a relationship that is
sexually fulfilling are simply futile. Brett is a passionate, lustful
woman who is driven by the most intimate and loving act two may share,
something that Jake just cannot provide her with. Jake\'s emasculation
only puts the two in a grandly ironic situation. Brett is an extremely
passionate woman but is denied the first man she feels true love and
admiration for. Jake has loved Brett for years and cannot have her
because of his inability to have sex. It is obvious that their love is
mutual when Jake tries to kiss Brett in their cab ride home: "\'You
mustn\'t. You must know. I can\'t stand it, that\'s all. Oh darling,
please understand!\', \'Don\'t you love me?\', \'Love you? I simply turn
all to jelly when you touch me\'" (26, Ch. 4). This scene is indicative
of their relationship as Jake and Brett hopelessly desire each
other but realize the futility of further endeavors. Together, they
have both tried to defy reality, but failed. Jake is frustrated by

Brett\'s reappearance into his life and her confession that she is
miserably unhappy. Jake asks Brett to go off with him to the
country for bit: "\'Couldn\'t we go off in the country for a while?\',

\'It wouldn\'t be any good. I\'ll go if you like. But I couldn\'t live
quietly in the country. Not with my own true love\', \'I know\', \'Isn\'t
it rotten? There isn\'t any use my telling you I love you\', \'You
know I love you\', \'Let\'s not talk. Talking\'s all bilge\'" (55, Ch. 7).

Brett declines Jake\'s pointless attempt at being together. Both

Brett and Jake know that any relationship beyond a friendship cannot
be pursued. Jake is still adjusting to his impotence while

Brett will not sacrifice a sexual relationship for the man she loves.

Since Jake can never be Brett\'s lover, they are forced to create a
new relationship for themselves, perhaps one far more dangerous than
that of mere lovers - they have become best friends. This presents a
great difficulty for Jake, because Brett\'s presence is both
pleasurable and agonizing for him. Brett constantly reminds him of his
handicap and thus Jake is challenged as a man in the deepest, most
personal sense possible. After the departure of their first meeting,

Jake feels miserable: "This was Brett, that I had felt like crying
about. Then I thought of her walking up the street and of course in a
little while I felt like hell again" (34, Ch. 4). Lady Brett Ashley
serves as a challenge to a weakness Jake must confront. Since his war
experience, Jake has attempted to reshape the man he is and the first
step in doing this is to accept his impotence.

Despite Brett\'s undeniable love for Jake, she is engaged to marry
another. Mike Campbell is Brett\'s fiancee, her next planned marriage
after two already failed ones. Mike