Hemingways Parallel between Style and Theme



In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway uses his unique writing style to strengthen the themes expressed in the novel. Throughout the narrative, it is clear that Jake Barnes and his friends do not have much to hang onto; however, on various occasions, the reader can easily see that Jake truly admires good style and technique regardless of the context. Whether he is describing the "how-to\'s" of getting rid of a friend, the best way to fish in Burguete, or the explicit details of great bullfighting, Jake constantly reminds the reader of the importance of style and grace. This style that Jake respects and admires is exactly what Hemingway achieves in his novel. At first glance, the book may seem simple and straightforward, but upon closer examination, it becomes evident that Hemingway chose almost every word or phrase with a very specific purpose in mind. Hemingway\'s "simple" style of writing is responsible for focusing the reader\'s attention to the repetitious and cyclic lives of the characters, while his incessant lack of details represents the empty or almost meaningless lives of Jake and his friends. Thus, the style that he deploys in his writing corresponds directly with the themes of the novel, resulting in the reader\'s enhanced understanding of and appreciation for Hemingway\'s The Sun Also Rises.
Hemingway\'s recurring use of quick, concise phrases throughout the novel brings the reader\'s attention to the repeating habits of each of the characters. Through Jake\'s narration, he describes a number actions and events with identical style despite the circumstances. This is displayed throughout the novel in Jake\'s straightforward account, and in one short paragraph he states, "I walked… I read… I got… I walked… I passed… I stepped… I walked… I walked…" (43). Though any character in any novel would do these actions repeatedly, Hemingway made a conscious decision to write Jake\'s actions in such a repetitive manner. As the reader notices Hemingway\'s repetitious devices, he or she is drawn not only to the repetitive nature of the story, but also to that of each of the characters\' lives. All of the principal characters in the novel base their entire lives on merely repeating a few basic activities over and over. As alcoholics, it is clear that most of their time is centered around getting "tight" at various places. No matter where they are, Jake, Brett, Cohn, Mike and Bill end up having the same conversations and doing the same things. The fact that they simply repeat the same insignificant actions devoid of emotion or meaning proves that their lives lack any true value at all. This absence of real meaning shows that they truly are part of the "lost generation," a very important theme in the novel; a theme that, when it comes down to it, is based on each of the characters\' repeating habits during the story. Though this idea may be apparent without Hemingway\'s repetitive manner, his style undoubtedly draws more attention to it. In addition to demonstrating the recurrence of a single event, Hemingway shows that the events are repeated in an undying cycle.
Just as each of the characters goes through his or her cyclic routine, Hemingway writes each chapter or book within the novel with a certain cyclic motion. Looking solely at the first and last parts of each chapter, certain patterns begin to arise. In Book I, each chapter begins and ends at very similar points. This is represented differently in chapter IV, when Jake and Brett start and end the chapter discussing how much they want to be together even though they can\'t, and in chapter VII, which begins "As I started up the stairs…" and ends "The door opened and I went up-stairs" (71). Thus by starting and ending in almost the same place, there is no choice but to start again from the same point, making it virtually impossible to escape the pattern. This inevitable routine is exactly what Jake finds himself lost in; no matter how hard he tries, he is unable to consummate experience. His physical and emotional castration prevents him from breaking out of the routine that has become his life. It can be inferred that the reason Jake admires bullfighting so much