AN ANDROGYNOUS SUN ALSO RISES. I posted here on Hemingway’s acknowledgment that his characters all sound the same because he didn’t listen and commented, “If the characters talk the same, it is a little easier to view the characters as aspects of the author rather than as fully realized.” Relying on his view that androgyny is central to understanding Hemingway, Crews interpreted the characters of Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley in THE SUN ALSO RISES as aspects of Hemingway. It is not just that Jake has feelings of being less than a man. Crews said: “Precisely because Jake is Hemingway (indeed, his name in the earliest surviving manuscript was “Hem”), he captures not only his creator’s adolescent manifest values but also his mean streak, his fits of remorse, his secret passivity, and his eventually suffocating need to be right about everything.” Crews cited Lynn approvingly for the view that Brett’s penitent side was drawn from Hemingway’s own life, and refers to “her constant yearning to be a ‘good chap.'” I have mixed feelings about biographical criticism, but, for me, looking at the characters as aspects of Hemingway makes them much more sympathetic and the book much more powerful.

This entry was posted in Literature. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.