The Sun Also Rises

The Death of Love

Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is a meticulously constructed story situated in the age of disillusionment that followed World War I. It frames a loose alliance of the “Lost Generation” and displays a vicarious insight into the forces that drive them. After the “Great War” love was among the many emotions left blunted. Ideals of love subsisting from the Romantic era through the Victorian age were in steady decline by the Age of Industry. The dilution and redefining of love in The Sun Also Rises is revealed from different perspectives through its damaged characters in both the romantic and the platonic sense. Hemingway effectively uses the characters of Brett Ashley and Robert Cohn to represent differing perspectives on love brought about by war and postwar sentiment. Although the two have contrasting attitudes towards love and life, they share a very similar perception of themselves.

Of all the characters in the story, Brett Ashley is arguably the most damaged. Having lost her first husband and “true love” to dysentery, she married Lord Ashley soon after in the midst of war. During the war she had served as a member of a Voluntary Aid Detachment. Brett would have been witness to every atrocity of the war and party to few, if any...

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