In his novel The Sun Also Rises, do you think Hemingway glorifies or condemns the habits of his characters, such as drinking, gambling, getting into debt, having affairs, etc.?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway is trying to, as it were, both have his cake and eat it. He is both showing himself (as Jake) as superior to his other characters in self-awareness of the futility of their habits and yet at the same time making the antics of his young adults of the "lost generation" look glamourous and romantic, in the manner of the poetes maudits of the fin de siecle.

It's important to note that this is a roman a clef, with all of the characters in the novel only thinly disguised portraits of actual friends of Hemingway, and many of the attitudes (including the really nasty anti-Semitism), the sexual attraction to Lady Brett, the genuine friendship for Bill, etc. are echoes of Hemingway's actual relationships to the people on whom the characters were modelled.

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The Sun Also Rises

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