Theme Of Disillusionment In Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway’s characters are frequently tested in their faith, beliefs, and ideas. To Hemingway’s characters, things that appear to be grounded in reality and unmovable facts frequently are not, revealing themselves to be hollow, personal mythologies. Hemingway shakes his characters out of their comfortable ignorance through traumatic events that usually cause a certain sense of disillusionment with characters mythologies, moving them to change their way of life. His characters usually, after becoming disillusioned, respond with depression, suicide, and nihilism. However, this is not always the case. Some characters break the mold and, instead of treating disillusionment with hostility, step back into the illusion in which they once lived…show more content…
What is important, however, is how Liz reacts to that rape. Liz should rethink her feelings towards Jim. Her illusion of Jim’s greatness should be shattered, leading into disillusionment. Liz should learn and grow from this experience. However, Liz continues to live within her illusion, allowing her obsession with Jim to prevail. After the rape, Liz kisses Jim on the cheek while he sleeps. Liz also “took off her coat and leaned over and covered him with it. She tucked it around him neatly and carefully” (Hemingway, 62). Instead of having the illusion fall to shreds, she reverts to loving Jim. She cares for him (literally and figuratively), showing that, what the reader anticipates being a point of disillusionment is not. It is mentioned, though, that she feels “miserable and everything felt gone” (Hemingway, 62), but she still loves Jim. This is a woman who should feel victimized, who should be hurt, who should be psychologically damaged, but she is not. Instead of feeling the pain of her world crumbling down, she steps back into her world of illusion, her world that has just become slightly unstable, and continues to inhabit…show more content…
He sees the man, with a slit from ear to ear, in the top bunk, above where his wife had just given birth. This is Nick’s first direct experience with death. As he sits in the boat, with his father rowing them home, Nick asks questions regarding the nature of death. While the sun rises, literally enlightening things immediately after Nick’s enlightenment to death, Nick “felt quite sure that he would never die” (Hemingway, 70). This is an interesting response to the experience of death because it disagrees with what Nick had just learned. Nick has just learned about death, he has just seen it for the first time, and he knows that people die. Nick’s childlike illusion of immortality should be falling apart. However, Nick decides, against reason and logic, that he will never experience
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