Modernism to A Clean Well-Lighted Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

As a result of his impotence, Jake sees Lady Brett's sexuality as threatening, rather than an expression of a feminist sensibility. Brett's independence is shown as futile, a kind of a symptom of the 'world upside down' of gender relations created by the war, but the implication by Jake (and by Hemingway) is that her strength is not fulfilling for her as a woman, and she is really looking for a male to subdue her, such as the bullfighter Romero.

Jake's cool and distanced character makes him a superior, if not a less disinterested narrator than Cohn. Cohn is emotional and romantic, and lashes out with his fists or tears. He lacks the ability to engage in cool, self-searching analysis to understand his own psyche or the psyche of others, although he has enjoyed some success as a writer. Because of the anti-Semitism he has experienced, like Jake he has concerns about his masculinity. But the fact he has never seen war makes him less mature: he believes the cliches that Jake, a true member of the Lost Generation, is trying to reject.

Unlike Cohn, who has trouble hiding his real feelings, Jake clearly has a great deal of simmering rage within him. Jake is able to use his intellect to deal with that rage, and this is something that makes him a superior narrator: it is only during the conversation he has with Bill while the two men are going fishing that the true nature of his war wound, the reason he cannot have a normal relationship with Brett, is revealed. "You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another." Jake says, illustrating the kind of insight he possesses, which Cohn lacks.

Q3. Compare and contrast the characters of Jake and Romero in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Relate the detachment and impotence of one and the passion and virility of the other to their life experiences, their occupations, and the countries in which they live.

Bullfighting, the epic quest of man against beast, is seen as the ultimate proving-ground of masculine fulfillment in Hemingway's novel. However, there is a certain irony: Romero's struggle is manufactured by an age-old Spanish sport, just as Jake's struggle in war was manufactured by the American government. Romero's confidence lies in his youth: a confidence Jake may have once possessed. However, Hemingway, to show that Romero's sport has a true purpose, unlike the war that maimed Jake, notes that one of the bulls he killed actually gored a man to death. Thus Romero has never known anything but uncomplicated success, and has almost no sense of self-analysis or self-doubt.

Lady Brett loves this carefree aspect of Romero, after living a life weighted down with so many cares, and suffering the torpid self-analysis and bitterness of Cohn (who believes he loves her) and her fiance Mike. But while Lady Brett loves Romero more than Jake, in Jake she finds a more sympathetic listener. Although both men love Brett, Jake seems to understand her better. For Romero, life is simple, while for Jake and Brett, life is all too…

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"Modernism To A Clean Well-Lighted" (2010, January 30) Retrieved March 24, 2018, from

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"Modernism To A Clean Well-Lighted", 30 January 2010, Accessed.24 March. 2018,