Can the novel, "The Sun Also Rises" be described as gloomy and pessimistic? If so, how?

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renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This novel has some gloomy and pessimistic aspects to it. For starters, the characters in the novel represent the "Lost Generation".  This means Americans who left after the war disillusioned of the American Dream and all it stands for. They are searching for meaning after having lost their faith.

There is the gloom associated with Jake's injury. He loves Brett, yet they can never be together because of it. Brett loves him, but cannot resign herself to a life without sex. Jake appears steady and in control, but at night, when he is alone, he cries. It is pessimistic in the sense that Jake should not resign himself from ever having romantic love in his life due to his injury.

There is also a pessimistic aspect to Brett. She moves from one meaningless affair to another. In some ways, she feels doomed due to Jake's injury, as well. The ending of the novel is not upbeat,either. The reader is left without a happy ending. Jake and Brett know they will not be together.

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The Sun Also Rises

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