Ernest Hemingway- Allegorical Figures in THE SUN ALSO RISES

Hemingway 1

Ernest Hemingway:
Allegorical Figures in
The Sun Also Rises


Hemingway 2

Thesis: Hemingway deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun
Also Rises as allegorical figures.

I. The Sun Also Rises
A. Hemingway’s novel.
B. Hemingway’s protagonists are deliberately shaped as allegorical
C. Novel symbolizing the impotence after W.W.I.
I. Jake Barnes.
A. Wound.
1. Damaged genitalia.
2. Can’t make love.
3. Feels desire.
B. Wound is symbol of life in years after W.W.I.
C. Wound from accident.
1. Accidents always happen.
2. Can’t prevent accidents.
3. “It was like certain dinners that I remember from the
war. There was much wine and ignored tension, and a
feeling of things coming that you could not prevent.”
D. Condition represents a peculiar form of impotence.
E. Restrained romantic.
F. Private grief with Cohn’s public suffering.
Hemingway 3
G. Strongly attracted to Pedro Romero.
H. Later, when Barnes says that he hates “homos” and wants to
hit them.
II. Lady Brett Ashley.
A. First appears with a group of homosexuals.
B. Wears man’s hat on short hair.
C. Refers to men as fellow “chaps”.
D. All complete distortion of sexual roles.
E. The war has turned Brett into the equality of a man.
F. This is like Jakes demasculation.
G. All releases her from her womanly nature.
H. “Steps off of the romantic pedestal to stand beside her
III. Robert Cohn.
A. Women dominate him.
B. Old fashioned romantic.
C. Lives by what he reads.
D. To feel like a man.
1. Boxes.
a. Helps him to compensate for bad treatment from
b. Turns him into an armed romantic.
2. Likes authority of editing and honor of writing, but is
a bad editor and a poor novelist.
E. Looks for internal strength in outward signs and sources.
F. Willing to suffer publicly and to absorb insults for sake of
Hemingway 4
true love.
G. He is ready to fight for his lady and knocks down his
opponent like a knight.
1. When he goes against Pedro for Brett.
a. Brett tells him off.
b. Pedro won’t fall.
c. Brett stays with Pedro.
d. Cohn is left alone.
2. Romantic hero met his match.
3. Shows difference between physical and moral victory.
a. Pedro fights for dignity and his spirit is
untouched by Cohn.
b. Cohn’s spirit is crushed.
H. Cohn based his manhood on skill at boxing or on a woman’s
love, not on internal strength.
IV. Pedro Romero.
A. Manhood stands without women.
B. Reason Barnes is attracted to him.
C. “Cohn and Pedro are seen as extremes and Barnes remains the
unhappy medium.”
D. “Romero provides an image of integrity against which Barnes
and his generation are weighed. From this point, Pedro can
be seen as the real hero, man whose code gives meaning to a
world where love and religion are defuncts, where the proofs
of manhood are difficult and scarce, and where every man
must learn to define his own moral condition and then live
Hemingway 5
up to them.
V. Summary.
A. Hemingway purposely shaped the main characters in The Sun Also
Rises as allegorical figures.
B. Jake Barnes and Brett Ashley are two lovers desexed by the
C. Robert Cohn is the false knight who challenges their despair.
D. Pedro Romero personifies the good life which will survive
their failure.

Hemingway 6

The Sun Also Rises is a novel by Ernest Hemingway (1926).
Hemingway deliberately shaped the protagonists in The Sun Also Rises
as allegorical figures (Bloom, 1985, pp. 107). The novel symbolizes
the impotence felt by the main characters after World War I.
Jake Barnes, the narrator, had a wound from an “accident”
that happened during the war. The injury damaged his genitalia. As a
result, Barnes could no longer make love, but could still feel the
desire. Barnes felt physically less than a man. Barnes made a
comment about hating “homos”. This shows that Barnes was insecure
about his masculinity. For this reason, he later found himself
strongly attracted to the young bullfighter, Pedro Romero, whose
manhood stood without women.
The wound is a symbol of life in the years following World
War I. It was used as a metaphor of the impotence felt after the war.
The wound can also be seen as a parable that reminded Barnes
constantly that accidents could always happen and