Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (1926) ((Broken) masculinity…
The Sun Also Rises
Impotence: due to his war wound, he cannot have sex, which is a vital part of a man's virility.
He does not have sex with Georgette, the prostitute, but he does pay her (= fulfilled financial transaction). (20)
The sight of gay men enrages Jake. Contrary to him, gay men can have sex with women, but they deliberately choose not to do so.
Due to his impotence, he cannot pursue a relationship with Brett.
A motif for Jake's impotence: the stuffed dogs: the form is the only thing left, the dogs' life, virility is gone. (64)
Jake suppresses his emotions and trauma during the day, because a "real" man cannot be openly sensitive. During the night, however, he has nightmares. (23, 27, 30)
Jake is financially independent; he works. This is a source of pride for him.
Because of his war wound, Jake finds it hard to connect to people.
Jake's war wound symbolises him being lost in the post-war society.
His 'aficion' (114-116)
Mike is bankrupt. Brett - A woman! - has to provide for him. He does not seem to be ashamed of this though. (69)
Mike drinks even more than the others and on top of that, he was also a very bad drunk. (123, 126-127)
Mike is powerless regarding Brett sleeping with others. In other words, he cannot keep his woman to himself. (179)
Mike is a powerless male.
Not a real man
Because he is Jewish. (84, 89)
Because he is a passive slave to women; he does not stand up for himself. (45)
Because he is strong (a boxer), but he does not use his strength.
Because he did not participate in the war.
Because he still believes in the pre-war ideals of realism and romanticism (idealising Brett, punching Romero for having an affair with Brett, South-America), which were shattered by WWI. His "friends" mock him for this. (34-35, 155, 173)
Mike hates Robert, because Robert earns money through the release of his - rather popular - second book. A second reason for Mike's dislike of Robert is the latter's affair with Brett. (125)
Jakes hates Robert, because Robert - A Jew! - can sleep with Brett, while he cannot. (73)
An easy target!
Nineteen years old, so = part of the New Generation.
Health and virility
A bullfighter: the violence of the previous generation, pre-war era. (!) (145-146)
< Jake: the old ideal of politeness
Sexual predator (sex without love, Circe) (48-49, 125)
Boyish appearance (e.g. short hair) (19)
Independent and strong
Financially provides for Mike.
Older critics: "a bitch"*
Nurse in WWI
Exists only in relation to men.
Lost her first husband in the war.
Her second husband abused her. (176)
Focalised through Jake; the "male gaze".
Desperate for love (159)