The Sun Also Rises Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

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What are some themes in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises that reflect Hemingway's thinking?

Disillusionment and the search for meaning are two of the central themes in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. The main characters are members of the Lost Generation, a group of American expatriates living abroad, making art and trying to find meaning in life. Each character has their own way of doing that: Jake obsesses about money, for instance, and tries to distract himself from his impotence. In Jake's disillusionment, however, there is the faint hope of rebirth or transformation.

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The characters in The Sun Also Rises express several aspects of idealism that is in contrast to their near-constant alienation. In searching for something meaningful in their lives, all the characters are restlessly moving around Europe, especially Spain, and trying to establish deep connections with the others. The ideals of pursuing romantic love and creative fulfillment, which motivated Ernest Hemingway in his personal life, are apparent in both the men and the women.

The difficulties Jake, Robert, and Brett all experience in staying in one place, however, move them physically as well as spiritually away from any chance of the fulfillment they so desperately need. This alienation stems not only from their unique personal experiences but from the widespread devastation that Europe experienced due to the Great War. One reason they chose Spain is that it had not seen as many battles. Unwilling to admit that their objectives are unattainable, they move on to different locations, as did the...

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