What do the homosexual men, who enter with Brett in Chapter 3, symbolize?  What is the purpose of Brett of being with them? What does Hemingway suggest by this: "She [Georgette] had been taken up...

What do the homosexual men, who enter with Brett in Chapter 3, symbolize?  What is the purpose of Brett of being with them? What does Hemingway suggest by this: "She [Georgette] had been taken up by them [homosexuals]. I knew then that they would all dance with her. They are like that."?

1 Answer | Add Yours

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway in one sense is a portrayal of the code of hyper-masculinity that dominated Hemingway's writing and public persona, with its stereotypical accoutrements of bullfighting and fishing. Yet, however, gender in the novel actually functions in a somewhat more complex manner. Jake, the protagonist, is impotent due to an injury he received in the war and Brett is barren. 

In Chapter 3, we are introduced to Georgette the prostitute and Lett, a gay man who enters the club with Brett. For Hemingway, all of these characters and the milieu of expatriate Paris represent something like Eliot's Wasteland, where culture has become rootless, detached from the land, and impotent.

If we read the novel against the normative sexual values of the period, of heterosexuality, marriage and childbearing, all these characters, as well as the divorced Cohn, are examples of broken sexuality, Jake for his impotence, Brett for his barrenness, Lett for his homosexuality, and the prostitute for reducing sexuality to a commercial transaction.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question