Read Your Heart Out: Book Review –“The Sun Also Rises”
by Colin Cavada
Author: Ernest Hemingway
There are very few pieces of literature that manage to maintain their pertinence; “The Sun Also Rises” is one of those rare books.
Ernest Hemingway was, and remains, a writer for the ages. His lean prose is unique in that it is as readable today as it was in 1926 when the novel was published.
The novel follows the travels and exploits of Jake Barnes, a newspaper writer, and Lady Brett Ashley, a decadent woman, as they navigate Paris and Pamplona, Spain, of the 1920s. The great value that lies in this book is born out of its universality, its ability to capture the spirit of volatility that exists in all generations that follow great change by way of war or economic distress.
“The Sun Also Rises” explores the difficulty of a generation, later dubbed “the lost generation” by Pittsburgh’s own, Gertrude Stein, and how they found themselves at the mercy of intense social upheaval. In doing so, Hemingway uses the overt consumption of alcohol and the indulgent lifestyles of his characters as a means to convey the sense of despair felt by entire generations of men and women following the events of The Great War.
The true greatness of the novel is how it can be directly related to the current landscape of American youth. Hemingway’s work explains the predilection of young people in the United States for imbibing and extravagant living across the twentieth century and now into the twenty-first. The parallel is stark and truly cements Hemingway’s novel as a piece of fiction that will live on in the minds and hearts of all Americans facing the intense social repercussions of their given time period.
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