An Extract From An Essay On

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An Extract From An Essay On The Sun Also Rises Essay, Research Paper WWI consumed the lives of millions. Those who lived through the war may have had only minor physical injuries or perhaps they were lucky enough to get away unscathed, but all of those who went home in the 1920s had lost a large chunk of the stuff of soul called hope. Hope is what feeds the soul, what burns to heat love and supplies meaning in a confusing world. The world had always been confusing before the war, but afterwards these expatriates had no energy, means, or desire to even attempt to find significance. Love was an empty word and empty people in search of sustenance looked in sex and in drunkenness and in superficial human relationships for this fulfilment, which they were missing. They sucked what

little any other person had to offer until no one had anything left to give. People then were alone and sorry individuals in a world that didn’t work. Feelings of disillusionment, loneliness, inadequacy, and alienation were commonplace. The characters in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises struggled with this, particularly Robert Cohn. He was a ray of hope that people just couldn’t bear. As if in a dark room when someone opened the shade. It hurts and one would rather close the shade than get used to the light. “It seems the bull-fighter chap was sitting on the floor. He was waiting to get strength enough to get up and hit Cohn again. Brett wasn’t having any shaking hands, and Cohn was crying and telling her how much he loved her, and she was telling him not to be a ruddy

ass. Then Cohn leaned over to shake hands with the bullfighter fellow. No hard feelings, you know. All for forgiveness. And the bull-fighter chap hit him in the face again.” As Mike spoke, he clearly showed us how much Cohn was pursuing Brett and how strongly everyone, including Brett, was rejecting and alienating him. Robert Cohn was probably not even capable of truly being in love. He had severe self-esteem problems in college. “He took it out in boxing, and he came out of Princeton with painful self-consciousness and the flattened nose, and was married to the first girl who was nice to him.” Cohn was looking for love and thought he could find it in a girl who would care for him. All of the characters were dealing with this whole issue of self. Cohn, however, dealt with

his problems in a different way. “He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton.” Cohn was willing to work and suffer physically to try to gain back some of what he wanted which was acceptance and love. The others tried to simply escape their problems in sex, alcohol, work, or fishing. This is a similarity between Cohn and Romero. Although boxing is not as threatening as fighting bulls, the work and torment and sweat involved show the hope that they have that the end result is worth the work and pain. Cohn believed that true love existed, but he had never known it. “For four years his horizon had been absolutely limited to his

wife. For three years, or almost three years, he had never seen beyond Frances. I am sure he had never been in love in his life.” “She [Frances] was very forceful, and Cohn never had a chance of not being taken in hand. Also he was sure that he loved her.” Robert Cohn had two rather lengthy relationships both three years or more. He did not fall in and out of love as quickly as the others. Brett thought she was in love with Romero only after seeing him from afar in the ring two or three times. Cohn, however, fell in love with Brett (or so he thought) and was willing to follow her around like a puppy as long as it would take to get her back. Even though she was married when he had his first affair with her and was engaged to get married again, he continued to pursue her. The