English Literature » Notes » The Sun Also Rises: The Title

The Sun Also Rises: The Title

Title of the novel “The Sun Also Rises” is suggestive. There is certain background and expression behind it. “The Sun Also Rises” comes from or is based upon a passage from ecclesiastical. The passage is:

One generation passeth away, and other generation cometh; but the earth abideth for ever – The sun also rises and goth down and hasteth to the place where he arise —

“The Sun Also Rises” is the novel about lost generation. Lost generation is the term used for those who participated in the First World War and were wounded physically or spiritually. These wounded people began to take little interest in realistic activities of life and engaged themselves in evil things like too much drinking, dancing and making free sex. This generation has two groups. One of them was settled and other was a group of expatriates who wanted to learn how to live in this world. But as their attitude toward life was unmanly so they were unable to learn how to live in this world. This added to their frustration and to this group Hemingway is concerned.

This group of expatriates comprises Jakes Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, Robert Cohn and Mike Campbell. Robert is physically wounded while others are spiritually wounded. Jake Barnes has lost his manhood by receiving genital wound and other lost their values. Brett Ashley has lost her moral values for she has been and still is indulging into making free sex. She has had affairs with Robert Cohn, Jake Barnes and still yearns to make more and thus in the end has affair with Pedro Romero. Mike Campbell is shown or told bankrupt which indicates that he has lost economic values. Robert is also victim of these evils. First he helps his mistress Frances and then spends with Brett Ashley who on one hand is trying to take divorce from her husband Mr. Ashley and on the other hand is engaged to Mr. Mike. Jake in the end pimping with Brett reveals that he has lost social values as well. This generation which is lost and has lost their values is compare with the setting sun.

On the other hand Pedro Romero, the young bull fighter extends to content the group of expatriates. He is 19 years old and represents young generation. He is called “Messiah”and is said to have come to save bull fighting from decadence. Bull is the symbol of evil and corral is the symbol of life. Pedro’s fight, in corral, with bull is in fact man’s struggle or fight against evil in life. Hence we can clearly observe that group of expatriates is the victim of evils for they indulge in dancing, drinking and sex but Pedro Romero’s fight against bull reveals that he is fighting against evils. Term “Messiah” has specially been used for Romero which means saviour. The sentence that he has come to save bull fighting means that he has come to teach the people not to be victim of evils but that they should master up courage to fight against evil. His young age and his fighting spirit indicate that he is the rising sun. Hence the sun that has set is rising again and this is the title “The Sun Also Rises”.

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