The Sun Also Rises Feminist Analysis

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While, commonly, in modern America, we as a society are more accepting and liberal concerning sexuality, that has not always been the case. In the novel, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, the female protagonist, Lady Brett Ashley, experiments with her sexuality in a way that is very ahead of her time. However, because of the modesty of the time period, she is heavily looked down upon, even by some of her closest friends. The stigma surrounding a woman’s sexuality in the patriarchy of the 1920s affects Brett’s mental stability by means of creating an extremely low self-esteem and a fear of commitment within her, and a fear of betrayal within Robert Cohn; these are portrayed through her inability to sustain, and be happy in, a monogamous relationship. She wants to be proud of who she is and enjoy her life but is seen as society’s bad girl in light of her promiscuity and physical appearance. This showcases stereotypes and gender roles of the time and how devastating the consequences were if anyone were to try to live differently- as their own person. Brett is both proud of her sexuality and uses it as a defense mechanism in her romantic life. She spends much of her time sleeping around with assorted men and trying to have a good time and embrace her femininity by doing so. However, in doing…show more content…
He tries to force gender roles onto Brett, which clearly does not work for her, but it does for him. Traditional gender roles “cast men as rational, strong, protective, and decisive; they cast women as emotional (irrational), weak, nurturing, and submissive” (Tyson 85). In trying to be the strong, protective man he wants and needs to be, he proceeds to follow Brett around attempting to police her actions and conversations. He follows her around and convinces himself that she is weak and irrational, which translates to his fear of her infidelity, in spite of the fact that they are not actually involved- he just desperately wants
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