The Unethical Character Actions in The Sun Also Rises

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The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway is a novel that depicts unethical choices that are made in the post World War 1 era. People in this time period either served in the war or suffered the consequences that it brought on. As imagined, the death and destruction that occurred influenced people to lose their ethical beliefs and sense of hope. All of the characters in this book commit at least one immoral deed. Their actions showed that they felt their lives were meaningless and that they had no real purpose. Some examples of the characters being immoral include: Brett having unfaithful relationships, Jake betraying Montoya, Robert committing adultery, all of the friends excessively drinking alcohol, and the anti-Semitic comments made towards Robert. All of these indecent acts that were performed may have not been done intentionally, but it left the others involved hurt.

Lady Brett Ashley is an important character in this novel. She struggles and commits multiple unethical decisions. Brett can not be faithful to anyone, even her fiancé. She thrives on intercourse, which makes it really hard for her to settle down with one partner. Brett understands psychologically that what she does is unjust, but she physically can not stop herself. Unfortunately, this hinders Jake Barnes and her from having any form of physical relationship because Jake suffers from an injury that does not allow him to sexually perform for Brett. She claims she has fallen in love with Pedro Romero. Pedro is just nineteen years old, so she sends him away so that he won’t get hurt by her. This shows that Brett is starting to mature and realize that she can not jump from man to man her entire life.

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Jake always seemed to be a delightful and intelligent man until he let down Montoya. Montoya is the head of the hotel that Jake and all of his travel companions all stay at while they are visiting Pamplona for the festivities. Montoya is an aficionado that loves bull-fighting just as much as Jake does. This causes them to have a deep connection that no one else shares with Jake. Unfortunately, he lets down Montoya by allowing Pedro Romero to party with Brett, Mike, Bill, and Robert. Montoya told Jake previously in the day that he was afraid Romero would be influenced by the wrong group of foreigners. Montoya also did not want Romero’s head clouded before his next bull fight. He obviously is disappointed in Jake because he felt that out of anyone, Jake should have known how important it was for a bull-fighter to stay focussed during the fiesta. Montoya does not even say goodbye to Jake when he prepares to leave Pamplona.

One of the most popular ways to socialize and to pass time in The Sun Also Rises is to drink. In this time period, it is not common to drink multiple bottles of wine with a meal. Everyone in the book at least once has a few too many alcoholic beverages. This causes the friends to act very indecent and immature in some situations. Mike Campbell especially was an extremely rude drunk. In multiple scenarios he calls out Robert for having feelings for Brett. The drinking may not have occurred just to pass time, but it also could be used to cover up severe mental depression that came from the hardships they face. All of the characters were affected by the World War and it undoubtedly still haunts them.

Robert Cohn is a Jewish man that was unfaithful to his fiancé, Frances. Robert has already had one failed marriage so he can be defined as desperate. He abandoned and cheated on Frances with Lady Brett. After his fling with her in San Sebastian, he became infatuated with Brett. He would stalk and declare his love for her, but it was obvious that the feelings were not mutual. He showed up at the café one evening and took out his frustrations by knocking out Jake and Mike. He did this because Jake would not tell him where Brett was. He then went to find her and assaulted Romero for being with her. When he finally realized that he was not wanted around, he asked for forgiveness and tried to make amends with the friends but only Jake forgave him. Robert did not stay around any longer and he left the city the next morning.

In this book there is obvious and some obscured racism. Robert Cohn is a self-conscious Jewish writer. Even though he is friends with Jake, anti-Semitic comments were made against Robert behind his back. The statements were made because Jake was jealous of the fling Robert had with Brett Ashley. Mike, Brett’s fiancé, also made a few remarks about how the usual men Brett sleeps with were not Jewish and that they do not stay around afterwards.

The Sun Also Rises is a great masterpiece that can be described as very unique. Ernest Hemingway did a magnificent job with making the reader feel like they are viewing the story in first person. This book is set after World War 1 and does an amazing job painting a picture of what everyday life was for individuals. The war took a toll on everyone even if they did not fight first hand on the battlefield. The mental states of some people were severely damaged. This caused the general public to have no hope for what was to come. They believed that everything in life has a cost and that they had no purpose. All of the characters in this book make certain decisions that can be considered extremely unethical. These decisions include Lady Brett being lustful and unfaithful, Jake Barnes making a decision that deeply disappointed a fellow aficionado, Robert Cohn deserting Frances, everyone using alcohol as an escape from their troubles, and the racial remarks that are made about Robert Cohn and Jews in general. No one in this story meant too much harm against the people that they hurt. The characters are obviously lost and have trouble gaining back there morals.

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