AP Literature!!! Let’s keep chatting!!

There were so many questions/statements I wanted us to discuss…and YOU had such great questions on your quizzes, I want to carry on the conversation here.

How rad is this movie poster? Which of Brett's paramours do you think this is??

How rad is this movie poster? Which of Brett’s paramours do you think this is??

So, here’s the gist: Respond to one question I pose below, or ask your own question. You may reply as many times as you’d like for up to 10 points extra credit. Each response can earn 5 points if it is detailed, thoughtful and includes textual evidence. 2 points per response if ya just holla.

Be sure to reply with your FULL NAME so I can give you credit.

Responses due by Monday, 11/11 at midnight!


32 thoughts on “AP Literature!!! Let’s keep chatting!!

    • I don’t believe The Sun Also Rises is a love story, because if it is its a twisted one. No character in the novel seems to truly be inlove with the other, they throw the word around. Brett says she is in love with many people but she has never actually settled down with them. She even continually tempts one man who she tells that she loves him (Jake) but then walks around with all of his friends and random strangers. She is to shallow to prove that she loves him by living with his flaws and instead puts herself out there with many different men. Robert Cohn is hopeless when it comes to his love situations because Frances is crazy, and a solid example of Hemmingway’s Bs and the other woman that he is interested in does not even truly care about him (Brett). “He calls her Circe,” Mike said. “He claims she turns men into swine.” (he referring to Robert) Cohn Jokes about Brett being a Greek goddess of seduction, and acts like he is an animal who obsesses over her. Even though he knows these things about her he is still drawn to her, because he is desperate. Mike watches his girl flirt, seduce, and fall “inlove” with other men, and thinks its okay. He never stands up for himself being her only man and that will leave him into unhappiness.

    • Nope. And here is why.

      Love is simply a vehicle through which Hemingway shows how utterly lost all of the characters are. EVERYONE in the book has a horrible love life, which is indicative of other, more deeply-rooted problems. Brett does nothing but get with every guy that buys her stuff. Jake is so pathetic that he PICKS UP A PROSTITUTE for nothing other than company. Bill… heck, I don’t even think Bill has a girlfriend. Or any prospective girls. Bill just does manly things, like fish and drink. Mike has Brett but doesn’t really care that much, as he just watches Brett get around. Mike is too busy gambling all his money away playing yahtzee or something. Oh and then there is Robert. The poor kid is so stupid as to actually think that Brett loves him, following her around like a puppy dog and trying to be Mr. Steal-yo-girl every five seconds. Then, when he finally faces the truth, Robert just cries it out and leaves. Like really Robert?

      All of these people simply don’t know what to do with their lives. This book honestly reminds me of a European Jersey shore, with everyone going out to party all night. Except in this show, Mike can’t have sex Snooki never gets pregnant. Secretly, this book was the basis of Jersey Shore.

      But seriously. This book isn’t about love. Love is just Hemingway’s vehicle. And just like in those century 21 commercials, Hemingway beats the living crap out of love to prove a point–that everyone connected with the war in some way is wounded beyond what some people can grasp.

      That Jersey Shore thing. That could be a valid argument.
      Kyle Hickman, Period 2

    • I don’t believe The Sun Also Rises is a love story. Call me old fashion, but to be in love I believe you actually have to “love” that person. Everyone has a different meaning for the complex word “love” but i believe, only wanting that person, thinking about them all time, and excepting them for their flaws are characteristics of being in love. And this book is a prime example that does not follow any of these guidelines for being in love. Brett carelessly throws around the word love in Jake, Mike and Pedro”s direction. Jake asks Brett “Don’t you love me?” and she responds “Love you? I simply turn to jelly when you touch me”(34). Everyone knows Jake has some manly issues that cannot be fixed and since Brett just wants the D she can’t look past Jake’s flaw and see all the other wonderful qualities he portrays. And Jake on the other hand doesn’t really love Brett, he just loves the idea of her, “Brett was damned good-looking”(29). If he really loved her he would fight to win her heart instead of letting her “go back to Mike”(247). Speaking of Mike, there is no love in his and Brett’s relationship because he lets her run off and fool with any boy she finds and he encourages it “Brett’s got a bull-fighter”(214) while he just sits back and drinks and gambles his money and life away. I could keep going on about how twisted everyone’s love life is in the book and how they all have deep personal issues that they hide from each other by getting drunk and falling in “love” but you get the point, TSAR is not a love story, or at least not a very good one.
      Jenelle Rose p.2

    • The Sun Also Rises is a Perfect example of a love story. A love story that Hemingway defined as being pitiful beyond belief.

      Looking at almost all the characters, they each love something which causes them to be pitiful and ass-like all throughout the book. I say “almost” because looking at Bill, well, he would gladly marry a leather wine pouch any day. He knows what makes him happy and never leaves home without it.

      Anyways, Brett seems to love Jake, and at the same time she loves the one thing that he cannot provide to her. She is pitiful because she immediately needs sex so she sleeps around. In the long run though, she needs actual love which is why she constantly needs jakes company. Hemingway created a story where Bretts two loves can never be fulfilled together, leaving her empty.

      Cohn is pitiful because he cannot fulfill his manliness. When introduced to Cohn, we learn that he is a hulking item of a man, and is a first class boxer. Through his size, he becomes cocky and arrogant, believing that he is godly. He believes nothing can rattle him, such as thinking he will be bored at bull fights, and believes that he deserves whatever he wants, such as Brett, However, no matter how big he is nor how able he is to knock others out, he constantly loses Brett to small, measly, boys like Romero. Cohn’s love for being a champion is constantly being pulled out from him.

      The cause of Jake’s tragic death is quite obvious, and is quite frankly more pitiful than sad. He actually loves someone, but keeps losing her because he has an injury that not even 4 viagras can fix. And to top it off, the book ends with Brett teasing Jake, and telling him how great the trip could have been if he had the right equipment.

      Timmy Moser
      Period 2

    • I believe that in some ways, it might be a love story, but if it were one, it would be a very mangled and intertwined love story. Love stories deal with deep, romantic love and in this story, the only true love that appears to be going on is between Jake and Brett, which is somewhat one-sided at times, and between Cohn and Brett, which is completely one-sided. Cohn is obviously madly in love with Brett but she wants nothing to do with him, which defeats the purpose of this story being about love, as love stories are supposed to be sappy and end with happily-ever-afters. The only real love, being between Jake and Brett, is also not really enough for it to be considered love-story quality. Typically in romantic stories, the couple ends up madly and crazily in love with each other and this isn’t the case in The Sun Also Rises. Jake is in love with Brett and tells her, although there are times when he could care less. He doesn’t get jealous of her and her special and frequent male friends because he knows he will never be with her. From the other view, Brett is very ambiguous about her love for Jake. At the beginning, they start kissing in the taxi and she seems to love him, yet in the final pages she blatantly says she does not. If he wasn’t injured, she might love him, but she is more in love with sex above all else and he is unable to satisfy her needs, therefore she could never truly love him. Even if there is a slight love between them, love stories generally focus on the love and the two parties involved while this story is more about everyone as a whole and they’re festivities rather than their romantic interactions with each other.

      The Michael Moser

    • No, it is a story of two people who don’t know the first thing about loving someone else. When Jake asks her, “don’t you love me?” she responds by saying, “love you? I simply turn to jelly when you touch me.” (34) From these two lines, one would think it would foreshadow a Disney-princess- movie-sort-of-couple that was going to live happily ever after, but they are stuck to forever fail at love. Brett doesn’t even know what she means by the word love. Love isn’t something that allows you to say it to one person and then have a fling with someone else. Each time she does this to Jake, it is set up the exact same way. Brett repeatedly sobs to Jake that “Oh darling, I’ve been so miserable” (32) or “You’re the only person I’ve got, and I feel rather awful to-night” (185). Whenever she is a mess in need of comfort, Jake is there to comfort her saying, “what’s the matter?”(33) and “Don’t feel bad” (186). Each time she reiterates the same question “do you still love me, Jake?”(187) each time asking it a little more dubiously then the last, but she is always reassured by his “yes” (187). This is always juxtaposed by Brett telling Jake how she is “…mad about the Romero boy” or about the count, or any other guy, except him. Despite this, Jake will help her get together with this other guy. She uses Jake, but he allows her to use him. He never takes a stand for his feelings. If he was truly in love with her, he wouldn’t let her do this to him several times throughout the novel. If they were in love, they wouldn’t do this to each other. I mean, both of them are already heavy drinkers as it is. It seems almost cruel for them to have more sorrows and troubles to drink away, eh Hemingway?

      Jacob Anderson

    • In my opinions, certain characters are, but others have the capabilities to make life what they wish and here is why:

      Jake (Doomed) — Jake will suffer with unhappiness and depression for the rest of his life. He is incredibly unlucky as it is out of his control. He is madly in love with Brett and would do anything to make her his, if it weren’t for his disability. How would you feel if you knew you would never be able to be with the man or woman of your dreams? Also, he will never be able to really be with any girl because of his injury. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. We don’t know what all is going on, but there is no doubt about it, it is a very unfortunate situation and will haunt him for the rest of his life.

      Brett (Happiness Attainable) — Brett has the capacity to make a good life for herself, however, she chooses to live in the past and remains depressed. We know that she has had a horrible past with a husband and we get sneak peaks of it throughout the book. She needs to move past it, even if she is pretty scarred. As soon as she moves past and allows herself to love a man (i.e. Mike), she will be content with life.

      Mike (Happiness Implied) — Mike, of course, is in love with Brett, but is very cynical about life. It must’ve hurt him greatly to see his fiancee go running off with a badasstical bull fighter, but in the end, she comes back to him. The book ends, but Mike is probably already happy.

      Bill (Happiness Achieved) — Bill already seems pretty happy with life, although he is hanging out with a pretty sad crowd. He doesn’t seem to have any major problems going on.

      Cohn (Could Go Either Way) — Cohn could make a good life for him IF he ever gets past Brett. Jake says that he probably went back to Frances when he left the party, in which case he could lead a happy life. Frances loved him greatly and would be good to him, but he must forget his feelings for Brett. Everybody experiences that forbidden love when they absolutely love somebody but cannot have them. Cohn can either move on to someone he can actually have, or, he can choose to love Brett for the rest of his life.

    • The answer to this question is conditional–if some of the characters continue to be around each other, their lives will just get worse and worse. For example, Brett will just keep getting herself into these situations that hurt Jake–and every other man who’s infatuated with her–and by hurting Jake she hurts herself. Brett doesn’t understand that her actions have consequences, so she continues to make the wrong choices and continues to make herself and everyone around her miserable. “‘Oh, Jake,’ Brett said, ‘we could have had such a damned good time together.’ … ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Isn’t it pretty to think so?'” In these final lines of the novel, Jake finally understands that Brett will always cause herself grief, and in turn cause him grief, as well. So when he says “Isn’t is pretty to think so?” he is saying that they were never destined to be together and have a “good time,” they were always fated to be unhappy.

    • In my opinion, the characters are doomed to unhappiness for the rest of their lives in many ways because their happinesses are very interconnected and they can’t all win in the end; in fact, they will probably all lose.

      An example of this is Brett: she is in love with Jake, and even knows they could of had a “‘damned good time together,'” (Hemingway 251) but she will never be fully happy or satisfied with him because he physically cannot provide her with something she really needs and, based off her past record, she will end up cheating on him. Meanwhile, Jake will be with the person he actually loves, but if and when she cheats on him, she will be reminding him that he is “‘impotent'” (120) and so he can never be fully happy. In this scenario, neither Cohn nor Mike can be fully happy because they do not have Brett either!

      Besides the romantic side of their unhappiness, all the characters have troubled pasts that will always be in the back of their minds: Brett with her past fiance/husband, and the men and their involvement with the war and the psychological and physical scars it left. While they can try as hard as they want to forget about it–through drinking, partying, wasting money, sleeping around, trying to make everything seem humorous–they will never be able to completely distance themselves from it.

      Overall, yes, the characters are all fated to unhappiness to some degree; they can all make choices that improve their situation and make the best out of what they have, even when what they have is not easy to work with. I feel this is situation is very universal for all the members of “The Lost Generation,” probably even Hemingway himself–not matter what, their pasts will always haunt them and keep them from living life to the fullest. This idea is quite depressing.

      Isaac Swenson

    • Why is the focus of TSAR about how “doomed” and pitiful characters are? Maybe the story was created to test the reader’s personality: are you a pessimist or an optimist? Optimists would see Bill, and use him as an example to life! While all of his friends are crumbling to pieces, he is kicked back and living life. He is able to identify his happiness through alcohol and through being drunk. However, for Brett, Jake and Mike, they are, yes, doomed to unhappiness for the rest of their lives.
      Jake loves Brett. Mike is engaged to Brett. Brett loves Jake, but chooses Mike because he has the “full package.” And then there is Cohn who is just a lost puppy looking for love. This complicated love triangle/square is detrimental to their happiness. Happiness is possible if and only if the characters go their separate ways.

      Mike is always in a foul mood because (1.) his friends bring him to bars and he doesn’t handle
      liquor well, and (2.) his wife is always running off. He can only be patient with his wife sleeping with 19yr olds for so long before he has to snap on somebody like Cohn.

      Jake really is a steer. He tolerates everything Brett does, and happily will take another hit for her. He needs to leave and find someone who doesn’t remind him of his lack of parts.

      Brett is always stuck in the past, which causes her to have nasty habits of playing men. She is never able to love because of her true love’s death. I’m sure being around Jake reminds her of the harm of war, since he is a walking example of the harm.

      Timmy Moser

    • None of the characters are doomed, they’re all just bringing drama upon themselves. Jake and Brett are miserable because they can’t be together because they can’t have sex. boohoo. the thing these poor idiots won’t realize is OHMYGOSH there are other options. They could have an open relationship, like all of Brett’s relationships already seem to be. or you know, they could just have alternative sex, the Greeks were gettin it on without all the right parts thousands of years ago, Brett and Jake literally have no excuse for all their heartbreak, and speaking of heartbreak, get over it! if Brett legitimately refuses to be with Jake because he’s impotent, she obviously can’t be all that great and Jake need to accept it and move on instead of just sulking forever. Find a woman that loves him for more than what is in his pants. Meanwhile, Cohn needs to grow up and get out of his little fantasy world. He really thought he and Brett were in love because they had sex one time? Bull. he just wanted to use her as an escape from the real world. he spent the whole book pretending that he and Brett were just gonna run away together and be happy with no consequences, instead of facing his crappy relationship with his crappy fiancee and the rest of his crappy life. I can’t believe it took the entire novel for ANYONE to punch him, I wanted to punch him by page four. If these people would just move on then maybe something engaging could have happened in this high-school-drama book.

    • I have actually been thinking about this for a day and a half now, thinking about how to reply. On some cases, I feel like the answer is yes: Jake has what seems to be an irreversible injury that has and will continue to affect him. But what about people like Bill? I feel like that answer should be no, as Bill doesn’t have any limitations (at least that we know of). Time could change anything for Bill. Which then led me to the question of how I measure unhappiness. Was it the inability to have sex? Was it all the Brett that Jake couldn’t have? No. The part of unhappiness is completely determined by the characters. Take Brett. She goes to Spain with her fiance who acts like a complete idiot all the time, and then she has a puppy dog behind her all the time being the most annoying thing in the world. But then everything changes when she meets Romero. “Brett was radiant. She was happy” (211). Even though she was completely miserable only a little while before that, Brett took a turn for the better and became a happier person. Brett viewed her situation differently now that Romero was in the picture. People become happy when they stop pitying themselves and take a better attitude on their situation.

      So, are some characters destined to unhappiness for the rest of their lives? Probably. Jake will probably never get over his injury, and Brett will probably never get over Jake. But who is to say that something won’t happen to change that? Maybe Jake will come to terms with his injury, and just make the best of his situation. Maybe Brett will truly love somebody else again. But this can only happen when they change how they see their problems. Once they change how they see their problems, They can do something about them, and then they open themselves up again to a whole world of happiness.

  1. I do not believe “doomed” is the correct word here, although i do believe the characters in the story will deal with a great load of unhappiness for the rest of their lives. For starters Brett already knows her and Jake belong together, but because she only cares about sex their relationship is impossible. She let Pedro go, who she was in deep infatuation with and decides to go back to Mike although she tells Jake “we could have had such a damned good time together”(251). And for those decisions she will be left with unhappiness because she isnt going after what she truely wants. Robert is clearly doomed to unhappiness because everybody in the novel hates him and wishes he were dead “and he’d kill him anyway this morning if Cohn wasn’t out of town”(206), and on top of that all Cohn is going back to his crazy wife Frances. Jake’s life won’t totallly be doomed but he will have an empty hole in his heart thanks to Brett. Because of all he had done for her, it still wasnt good enough and she decided to go “back to Mike”(247).

  2. Though I believe “doomed” is a strong word to describe the situation, I do believe that their lives will all be unhappy. Robert Cohn believed that Brett was the woman of his dreams, but he was to blind to see that she treated every man like him and he continued to make a fool of himself until the end of the novel. “Couldn’t we live together, Brett? Couldn’t we just live together?” -Jake “I don’t think so. I’d just tromper you with everybody. You couldn’t stand it.” Brett claims multiple times that her and Jake are supposed to be together, and Jake also acknowledges this but neither of them try to make it work because he can not offer her what she wants, so she would just tromper him (cheat on him) Mike also is doomed because he pretends that Brett isn’t doing any harm when she is with other men and she even says after her and the bull fighter are finished she will just go “back to Mike”(247) as if it was no big deal at all and the bull fighter was just another guy.

  3. I think that The Sun Also Rises is a love stroy to an extent. Clearly Jake and Brett are in love with each other “don’t you love me? Love you? I simply turn all to jelly when you touch me” (Hemingway 34). But all the obsticlals in the way of them being to together forever are to great for them to overcome. “Isn’t there anything we can do about it…and there’s not a damn thing we could do” (34). Jake however is so much in love with Brett that he will let Brett be happy with another man just to make Brett’s life happy. Jake will even fight his friend to make sure Brett stays happy. “I swung at him and he ducked. I saw his face duck sideways in the light. He hit me and I sat on the pavement. As I started to to get on my feet he hit me twice. I went down backward under a table” (195). Jake’s love for Brett is so great that even Jake will do things that he usually does not do. In the end Brett contacts Jake first to help her get back on her feet. “She would not look up. I stroked her hair. I could feel her shaking” (247). After she goes through another tough time Jake is there right after to help calm and listen to Brett. Even the final few lines that Jake and Brett still love each other and think about what would have happened if they were together. “We could have had such a damned good time together…yes…isn’t it pretty to think so” (251).

  4. I think in a way The Sun Also Rises could be a love story. Mainly because a love story does not always have to end up with “the guy gettin’ the girl”. For example Romeo and Juliet some could argue its a love story or just a play about two teens in heat with suicidal thoughts (I’m just saying, it could be possibility). I think that it depends who the reader is because maybe there are people who can relate to Brett or Jake, and can honestly say “Yes,this is a love story”. The way Hemingway put it I think its open for any interpretation, it just depends who the audience is. For me personally I do not think it is a love story, I don’t see Fabio on the front cover holding some random beautiful model, with his luscious hair flowing in the wind. Then again that is just me. I also do not believe it is a love story because the characters where intoxicated more than half the time, and we are reading the novel through the eyes of Jake. How does the reader know that Brett actually says ” You mustn’t. You know. I can’t stand it, that’s all. Oh, darling, please understand! Don’t you love me? Love you? I simply turn all to jelly when you touch me”(64). When really she could possibly be saying “Dude seriously, stop touching me” How are we supposed to truly know that Brett actually does love him and that he is not intoxicated enough to tell his story accurately.Lastly I think this is not a love story because Brett thinks she “loves” everyone. At one point she “loves” Cohn, then Jake, then Mike and then Romero, like what the heck women just choose someone. After she falls in “love” with Romero she has the nerve to ask Jake “Do you still love me, Jake?
    Yes, I said.
    Because I’m a goner, Brett said
    I’m a goner. I’m mad about the Romero boy. I’m in love with him, I think”(187). Oh Brett…
    Daisy Cuevas p.2

  5. These characters are so incredibly doomed. Considering it is the Roaring Twenties and there isn’t any therapy really available for expatriates back then–mental trauma was just a myth back then ;P –they will likely all end up opiate addicted alcoholics whose teeth fall out at 50.
    Let’s start off with Cohn: Page 29, Mrs. Braddocks: “Don’t be cross with Robert, he’s still only a child, you know.” That entirely summarizes his character. No need for that introduction about him in the beginning of the book, Hemingway could have just been like, “Robert Cohn is a big baby and can’t handle his women.” Done. Just being in a relationship with a “very forceful” (13) woman whose “attitude towards Robert changed from one of careless possession and exploitation to the absolute determination that he should marry her” (13) *coughFrancescoughhackhackhairball* would drive a man to be a drunk. Heck, if I were him, I’d be guzzling that absinthe like water.
    note: here is a link to a song that epitomizes Cohn’s pathetic lusting:
    While on the topic of drunks, let’s touch on the Lady Brett Ashley, AKA Lady Too-Hot-For-Just-Twenty-Shots. Wow. What a drunken pit of despair. What a sexually active drunken pit of despair. I’ve seen chicken tenders with more of a life to look forward to. While I am a romantic and I willingly admit that I literally felt my heart be torn in half with the last sentence of the novel, my “Independent Cavewoman” side wins this battle. WHAT A PATHETIC SOP. JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET LAID BY THE MAN WHO STANDS BY YOUR “CURVES LIKE THE HULL OF A RACING YACHT” (30) DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T BE WITH HIM. It’s not like she wants kids anyways: “I’m thirty-four, you know. I’m not going to be one of these bitches that ruins children.” I find it very sad and very pathetic that Brett values carnal affection more than mental affection. None of the men she sleeps with care for her–they care for her boat-like curves. Jake is the only one who understands her, and yet she is incredibly resistant to being loved.
    She’s got me worked up in a tizzy, I need to stop and take a break. !@$#!$#@%(@# Brett.

    Samantha Wilson

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