The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is considered to be a classic that should be read by all high school students. That was my first exposure to this author and his peculiar sense of writing. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Hemingway and I am not sure that I will ever become one. I will say that re-reading this book in my twenties did offer a bit of a different view- I was far more cynical about what Hemingway wrote.
I did not look for any deep meaning in what Hemingway wrote, I feel that that is the sort of thing best left to some scholar who believes that every story has some sort of hidden meaning that the author purposefully placed there. I believe that most authors do not have hidden connotations riddled in their stories- that is something that we, the reader, like to add for our own interests.
With this story, I felt the pull to focus on the five drunkards that Hemingway created. Creating a story that hinged around a good bit of drinking and various other shenanigans is something that would be attractive to most people in their twenties and I can see why this book would make the list for that reason. Who wouldn’t like to read about people wasting their lives away?
So, my review of this book is a bit different. What can I say about Hemingway that is unique or different from a million other things that have been said about Ernest Hemingway in the past? I feel that this is probably one of the few books that I will feel like this about, as I know how many have read it.
The story of The Sun Also Rises does create characters that really do exist in real life. There are people in this world that do live in a life where partying and drinking is the center of their universe. The thought of responsibility absolutely repels them and it makes them travel further and further down a path of irresponsibility. It takes them away from being adults and back to a time when they were not expected to look out for themselves. That is exactly what the characters do in this story and it is a vital lesson to all that read it. In the end, the characters have a sad and lonely life that does not amount to much. None of them are truly happy and they go and bury themselves in their vices.
To me, the biggest takeaway from The Sun Also Rises is that every person has something that could pull them away from their responsibilities. Every person has to face that challenge and decide what to do. Will they be responsible? Will they continue to party like they did in their youth? It is an important question for every twenty-something. What we decide to do now shapes the rest of our lives. Do we really want to be the irresponsible generation or do we want to buck up and take responsibility for what we have done and for what we can do? The characters in this story did not do that and as you can read, it does not really come to a happy ending. Is that really what we all want for ourselves?
Questions? Comments? Feel free to let me know!