The Sun Also Rises Topics for Further Study
by Ernest Hemingway

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Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • After doing some research on bullfighting and its surrounding festival, explain the novel according to your findings discussing whether or not the British title of Fiesta was more or less appropriate. Is the bullfight the focus of the novel? Back up your claims by examining each character’s reaction to the spectacle.
  • Thinking about the role that the matador plays in the novel, what is the role of a hero in a world disillusioned by war? Would you agree with cultural anthropologist Joseph Campbell that his role (and Joseph Campbell does emphasize the need for rejuvenating masculine heroic ritual) is to reconnect people into a “coordinated soul”? As he says in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, “It is not society that is to guide and save the creative hero, but precisely the reverse.” Lastly, do you think Hemingway was working with this idea in mind?
  • Compare The Sun Also Rises with Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. How does the spokesman for the “lost generation” compare with that of the “beat generation”?
  • Given the conditions of agrarian life in the dust bowl of the early part of this century, what arguments can you make for linking the “greats” of the “lost generation” to their birth-region? Except for Ezra Pound (Idaho), they are all from the Midwest—F. Scott Fitzgerald (MN) Ernest Hemingway (IL) Sherwood Anderson (OH) Sinclair Lewis (MN), and T. S. Eliot (MO).
  • Would Hemingway, or any character in his novel, approve of a female matador? Provide evidence from the novel or from other Hemingway novels or short fiction to support your assertion.