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Character Role Analysis

Mike Campbell; Jake Barnes

Mike and Jake have many things in common, among them their wartime experience at the front, and their attachments to Brett; however, they respond to these similarities very differently.

While Jake throws himself into his work and his life in Paris, Mike apparently is a huge slacker, unable to commit to a job or stable living situation. Mike is just waiting for his inheritance to come through (some day he’ll be very wealthy), but in the meantime, he lives mostly off the kindness of his friends and fiancée. The war is still very much on Mike’s mind; as with Jake, we get the feeling that it was the great event of his life, and he’s still trying to recover from it. He just can’t get his act together, so he stumbles through his life in a fog of alcohol and debt.