The Sun Also Rises Report Essay Research — страница 2

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be as much of an heroic figure as can reasonably be expected in the real world under conventional circumstances. Jake s maturity and understanding of the limitations of modern society is shown particularly in his remark that: Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters. (18) Pedro Romero truly is set apart significantly from the others. Virtually flawless, this young man lives in the world of the matador: a world immune from the constraints of civilization. When Romero is in the bullring, he is able to transcend the confines of the modern world. He truly becomes the closest approximation to the classic definition of a romance hero, perhaps even to mythical proportions. To the crowd, he is not just a man; he is Theseus slaying the Minotaur. Romero demonstrates

all the ideal qualities of masculinity. He is youthful, handsome, skilled, courageous and passionate. Even outside the boundaries of the bullring that provide a stage for such daring feats, Romero seems to still carry something with him that sets him above a normal man. When Jake is introduced to the young bull-fighter, he sees this immediately: The boy stood very straight and unsmiling in his bull-fighting clothes. His jacket hung over the back of a chair. They were just finishing winding his sash. His black hair shone under the electric light. He wore a white linen shirt and stepped back. Pedro Romero nodded, seeming very far away and dignified when we shook hands. Montoya said something about what great aficionados we were Romero listened very seriously. Then he turned to me.

He was the best-looking boy I have ever seen. (167) It is evident that Romero s qualities are not just mere illusions induced by his occupation. The boy seems also to reflect Jake s best characteristics. He is not arrogant or pompous; he is dignified, courteous, and gracious. Truly, Romero is the epitome of the missing icon of this Lost Generation. Seemingly immaculate in all aspects, both physical and spiritual, the bullfighter certainly makes an impression on the group. While Jake is impressed with the young Pedro, Brett is completely enraptured. Her fascination goes deeper than the man s looks, though. In Romero, Brett envisions a possible solution to her hopeless search. From the stands of the arena, she sees her Holy Grail glistening in full splendor in the Pamplona sun. The

illusion does not last long for Brett. After finally obtaining her prize, she finds it sorely lacking in that Romero turns out to be a mere mortal after all. An interesting parallel can be drawn between Romaro s failure to live up to Brett s impossible expectations and his predecessor, Belmonte s failure to live up to the crowd s: When he retired the legend grew up about how his bull-fighting had been, and when he came out of retirement the public were disappointed because no real man could work as close to the bulls as Belmonte was supposed to have done, not, of course, even Belmonte. (218) The others are not oblivious to the power of Romero s presence nor to its effect on Brett. Mike is quick to recognize the threat that Romero presents and he shows it, but only through a veil

of humorous intent: I believe, you know, that she s falling in love with this bullfighter chap, Mike said. I wouldn t be surprised. Be a good chap, Jake. Don t tell her anything more about him. Tell her how they beat their poor old mothers. (172) Just as Jake finds his ability to be heroic limited by the standards of the civilized world, Mike knows that these subtle protestations are about the extent of what he can do to keep Brett. As painful as it is for him, Mike gracefully steps back as Brett pursues her new love. Robert Cohn also sees Romero in much the same way as the others. The bullfighter represents to Cohn, perhaps more than anyone else, the ideal man. Cohn sees in Romero all the things that he finds lacking in himself, and consequently becomes extremely jealous,

especially when he sees Brett s fascination with the young man. While Romero s heroic feats continually produce adulation, Cohn s own attempts at chivalry and courage end up in his making a fool of himself: (Jake) Oh, go to hell. He stood up from the table his face white, and stood there white and angry behind the little plates of hors d oervres. Sit down, I said. Don t be a fool. You ve got to take that back. Oh, cut out the prep-school stuff. Take it back Oh, don t go to hell, I said. Stick around. We re just starting lunch. Cohn smiled again and sat down. He seemed glad to sit down. (47) Even Cohn s final desperate attempt at proving himself completely backfires. While pummeling Romero repeatedly in a jealous rage, he unwittingly provides the bull-fighter with an opportunity