The Sun Also Rises

The Cyclical Consequences of War in The Sun Also Rises

In the novel The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway utilizes cyclical themes to communicate an underlying message about the negative effects of war. By integrating cyclicality into the novel’s main characters, Hemingway portrays how World War I created the Lost Generation, stuck in a turbulent cycle characterized by alcoholism, moral and religious confusion, and purposeless lives in order to successfully reveal the horrors of war.

In The Sun Also Rises Hemingway uses characterization that demonstrates the characters’ cyclicality as his most direct mean of communicating the perils of war. Consequently, the main characters, Lady Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes, are both members of the Lost Generation, plagued by “Fake European standards… [drinking themselves] to death… [becoming] obsessed by sex… [and spending] all [their] time… not working” (120). Brett is culpable of indulging in all of these traits whereas Jake is incapable of having sex and thinks “it [feels] pleasant to be going to work” (43).

As both Brett and Jake participated in World War I, their inability to be together as a result of various events resulting from the war leads them to fall into their respective patterns. While they share many resemblances, Brett and Jake’s...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 723 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4152 literature essays, 1399 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in