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A Hard Days Knight Searching for a Hero in The Sun Also Rises Unlike many of the books published before the 1920s in Hemingways The Sun Also Rises there is a distinct lack of the stereotypical nineteenth-century hero figure In looking for such a hero the reader expects one character to stand out as the champion of a moral truth or of a standard above mere human existence Though all of the main characters exhibit the characteristics of a classic noble protagonist at one time or another throughout the narrative limitations prevent each from exhibiting the consistency innate in the classic hero figure There isnt one character that stands out enough or for any significant period of time to merit the label of a hero Hemingway gives each character a chance at being the champion of the story but never allows that dream to be realized By examining each of the four main characters individually it will become apparent how Hemingway structured the novel so that the hope for a single hero is ever-present but the reality of such an individual actually existing is an unfortunate impossibility given the personality flaws present in each When one speaks of unfortunate impossibilities in this novel it is Jakes war injury that most often comes to mind first It is appropriate though that this is the case because in Jake we find the character most often given the chance at being the hero Hemingway evokes immediate compassion for Jake at the suggestion of Jakes sexually incapacitating war wound By appealing to the male readers sense of machismo and subsequent fear of sexual inadequacy and the female readers sense of sympathy Jakes plight is given a tragic but character enhancing perspective He can be immediately seen as brave and strong for living a normal life despite his serious misfortune His association with Brett further reinforces this image Despite his injury he is able maintain a relationship with a
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