Question: Discuss the significance of the title The Sun Also Rises.
A good title is one of the most important elements of a book. Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) is a very conscientious artist and most of his titles are most carefully chosen. One such title is “The Also Sun Rises”. The title emphasizes time and a cyclical motif. Yet it has an optimistic tune, focusing more on the beginning than the last.
Cycles of lifestyle
The novel contains cycles, and one of the most obvious is Lady Brett Ashley and the men. The course of the book includes topics related to the affairs of Lady Brett Ashley with Robert Cohn and Pedro Romero. In both cases, there is a process that has a process of wooing, acceptance, and eventual rejection. It is also suggested that making affairs are a prevalent habit for her and this creates a cycle of the upper and educated class. Such futility is the root of the title.
Rituals focused on cycles of life and death
The idea of cycles is also evident in a more ritualized form through bullfighting and Catholicism. One of the best examples of cycles and the passage of time is the contrast of Romero and Belmonte. Belmonte is an old bullfighter who has passed his prime time; his sun is setting. Romero is a young bullfighter who is just coming into his own; his sun is rising. This contrast suggests the cycle of life and death. Thus, the novelist suggests that there is nothing to be frustrated in this world.
Deadly lost generation
The cycle of life and death can be seen on a large scale by looking at the expatriates. Expatriates are the post-World War I members who are referred to as the “lost generation”. They pass through the horrors of war and despair in their young lives and find themselves living in Europe and seemingly deprived of morality, spirituality, and purpose. It might seem that their best days are gone. The title of “The Sun Also Rises” suggests that while things may get worse for them now, there is always tomorrow.
Sexual metaphor rooted with dissatisfaction and despair
There is another possible interpretation of the title, and it is a sexual metaphor. The sun may rise but Jack’s situation is not certain. With this explanation, there seems to be a theme of constant love. To a certain extent, the entire generation lost something in the war. And because of this, they fight to find satisfaction and fulfillment in life, yet never fully achieve it. The sun is setting over the lost generation, their best days are spent on them. And that’s why Brett who is 34 years old cannot stay with Romero who is nineteen years old. They are on different sides of the cycle. It is also possible that Hemingway says that the relationship of a sexual nature is not important.
Images of loss and heartbreak with optimism
Hemingway shows enough images of loss and heartbreak to give this book a possible depressing tone. Yet that is not the ultimate message. He is not trying to dwell on the fact that the fiesta is over. That is because there will be other fiestas. One can never be saddened by an ending, a new beginning is always just around the corner. And so, although the sun may set on good times, it always rises again. Though everything seems hopeless, the sun will rise again tomorrow, and then it will do so again the next day…and the next. There is not much hopefulness in this novel, as the final words indicate:
“OH, Jake,” Brett said, “we could have had such a damned good time together.”
Jack, “Yes, isn’t it pretty to think so?”
In termination, it obvious and transparent that the title of the novel is very significant. This title basically scatters the message that nobody should be frustrated because every day is new for everyone.