How Do Gender Roles In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises?

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In The Sun Also Rises there is great exploration into the aspects of post war ideals and the effect these shifts had on society, a big theme throughout the book is gender roles. While some may read Brett as a radical representation of women 's right and all the newly gained freedoms, she only represents a small part of the huge shift in gender expectations of women. This is due to her social class and her lifestyle and because of this we do not get to see deeper into the independence that was gained by women in this post war world. Hemmingway uses Brett to demonstrate how the effects of the shift in gender roles and how they affected the lives of upper class women with regards to social liberties but does not go deeper to show the gained independence…show more content…
Even with all these social shifts in the expectations of women, Brett still depends on men. She can not support herself emotionally, financially of socially and she uses Mike and Jake mainly to fulfill these needs. Jake is her emotional support he fulfills her emotional side of all the relationships that she has, and she uses him in the way due to the fact he knows she will never actually be in a relationship with him due to the fact he was emasculated in the war and so in return nothing is expected of her. When she was trying to start her relationship with Romero she has a desperate need for Jake and his support she pleads "Oh darling, please stay by me. Please stay by me and see me through this."(187) , she needs him to validate her decision and support her through it, showing that she still needs a man to authenticate what she is about to do. With her divorce pending Brett is in danger of losing her lifestyle and the glamour and recognition that goes with it. When she is with Romero and he tries to give her money, she claims "I told him I had scads of [money]. He knew that was a lie." (246). Brett can 't support herself and even though Mike has essentially no money as of right now "He 's going to be rich as hell some day" (46) and he is still able to provide for her in a way she can not provide for herself. Mike secures Brett 's position socially and economically and with her being of the upperclass she would never be expected to work for a living. She also…show more content…
In conclusion even though Brett does represent the shift in gender roles post war she only scrapes the surface of the huge changes taking place due to her shallow life and the way ladies of upper class had different obligations and lifestyles of the working class. Brett is still contained within a male driven world and this leads her to be dependent on men in way many women were shifting away from by getting jobs and advocating their rights. She does avidly demonstrate the social freedoms that women were now able to enjoy but the real major changes are never shown through her character. So while Brett may be a idol of the views of marriage for women and the new night life of women she is not a good representation of the changing
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