The Sun Also Rises
Men and Masculinity Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
I watched him walk back to the café holding his paper. I rather liked him and evidently she led him quite a life. (1.10)
Cohn is a likable but emasculated character when we first meet him – Frances has him totally whipped.
[Cohn] had married on the rebound from the rotten time he had in college, and Frances took him on the rebound from his discovery that he had not been everything to his first wife. He was not in love yet but he realized he was an attractive quantity to women and the fact of a woman caring for him and wanting to live with him was not simply a divine miracle. (2.2)
Cohn’s subjugation by women is at a breaking point here – he realizes in a somewhat dangerous fashion very late in life that it’s not a "miracle" for a woman to be attracted to him, and that he can use this to his advantage.
One of them saw Georgette and said: "I do declare. There is an actual harlot. I’m going to dance with her, Lett. You watch me."
The tall dark one, called Lett, said: "Don’t you be rash."
The wavy blood one answered: "Don’t you worry, dear."
And with them was Brett. I was very angry. Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, any one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure. (3.22)
The homophobia that emerges here can be somewhat jarring to contemporary readers (as is the anti-Semitic strain that runs through everyone’s treatment of Cohn). In this scene, Jake is disturbed and angered by the homosexual friends that Brett arrives with – "they" are discussed as though they are all the same (and Jake doesn’t like any of them). He portrays the gay men as effeminate, somewhat alien, and totally devoid of masculinity.