Study Guide

The Sun Also Rises Man and the Natural World

By Ernest Hemingway

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Man and the Natural World

Ah, ye olde city mouse vs. country mouse battle. In The Sun Also Rises, the country is shown as idyllic, but the city is hellish.

There is an overwhelming sense that the modern world that Hemingway shows us runs the risk of drifting dangerously far from the natural world. Many of the characters are divorced not only from capital-N-Nature, but from their own natural states; the perpetual drunkenness and self-imposed oblivion that dominate the book remove characters from their true thoughts and emotions. Our protagonist and a few other characters share a profound appreciation for nature, and in it they are able to take refuge from the negative effects of a super-unhealthy society.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does nature serve as an escape and form of relaxation for Jake? What is he trying to escape?
  2. What characteristics do the characters that most appreciate nature (Jake, Bill, Harris, and Romero) share?
  3. In what ways do the natural environments in The Sun Also Rises reflect the storyline?

Chew on This

During Bill and Jake’s fishing trip, their profound experience of the natural world creates a sense of authenticity that is lacking in the rest of the novel.

The most grounded characters in The Sun Also Rises share a sense of appreciation and an innate understanding of nature.

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