The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Increasingly cynical, though often comic
You get the feeling that the comedy of this book is there to mask what Hemingway himself called "a damned tragedy." Its characters engage in witty, often hilarious dialogue, but underneath their wisecracking shells lie vulnerable and discontented real people, disillusioned by the world around them. The tone of the book plays upon both of these aspects of our characters; as the novel approaches its end, the disillusioned side emerges more clearly. An increasing sense of cynicism and plain old exhaustion builds up during the days of the fiesta, as everyone drifts apart and some relationships disintegrate, perhaps beyond repair.