The Sun Also Rises

About Jake

How is Jake a subject of emasculation? 

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One of the key changes Hemingway observes in the Lost Generation is that of the new male psyche, battered by the war and newly domesticated. Jake embodies this new emasculation; most likely physically impotent, he cannot have sex and, therefore, can never have the insatiable Brett. Instead, he is dominated by her (see "Sexuality and bull-fighting," below), as is Cohn, who is also abused by the other women in his life. Jake is even threatened by the homosexual men who dance with Brett in Paris; while not sexually interested in her, they have more "manhood" than Jake, physically speaking. Though a veteran, Jake now works in an office and fritters away his time with superficial socializing; he admires bull-fighters so much, and Romero in particular, because they are far more heroic than he is or ever was. Though Romero's appearance is more feminine than Jake's, he fulfills the code of the Hemingway hero, commandingly confronting death as a man of action with what Hemingway has called "grace under pressure." Jake, on the other hand, has returned from his confrontation with death feeling like less of a man, physically and emotionally.