The Sun Also Rises Masculinity

818 Words4 Pages
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, depicts the internal and external struggles of masculinity of each character in the novel. Ironically, Brett, the only woman in the book, displays masculinity throughout all of her actions. Each man in the book gravitates towards Brett as they search for their own masculine identity. For example, Mike Campbell, Brett’s main lover, uses Brett to channel his masculinity. Mike has no real masculine traits without Brett, so instead he covers up these shortcomings with alcohol. Mike’s dependence on masculine objects,like liquor and women, help to create a false facade of masculinity. This trend continues through the entirety of Mike’s actions. For example, in an attempt to appear manly, he gropes Brett in public, flaunting his ability to obtain a woman as beautiful as her. His struggle to achieve the peak of masculinity only furthers gender stereotypes throughout the novel. There are certain things that an ideal man must achieve, and the only way Mike can attempt to achieve these ideals is through Brett. He is a prime example of how fragile masculinity is. When Brett leaves Mike all of his perceived strengths go with her. Ironically, Brett is the only truly masculine character in the…show more content…
Masculinity is represented through wealth, status, and power. Femininity is lacking these traits. Only through Brett's help can Mike display masculinity. His desire to become an ideal masculine being is simply impossible. He is far too dependent on Brett and her masculine power to ever be successful on his own. This juxtaposition between Mike and Brett should create conflict, but instead Brett effortlessly controls the power in every situation. Mike cannot come close to possessing the masculinity Brett gracefully displays. She embodies beauty, grace and masculinity. Brett is the true omnipotent character throughout The Sun Also Rises, and everyone else is just trying to catch
Open Document