Hemingway's style depends upon vividness and exactness of visual detail to create the atmosphere of modernism which permeates his works both large and small. Though this richness is due to influence from other writers of the modernist period (as well as the application of his own theory of omission), the visual intensity of Hemingway's work is also related to his interest in the Impressionist painter Cezanne, who focused on developing the ideas intrinsic to modernism through traditional forms of painting (i.e. still-life, landscape, etc.). Throughout many of his early short stories and novels, Hemingway uses the techniques cribbed from Cezanne's style of painting to create a modern visual art form within a literary context. The use of Cezanne's techniques by Hemingway in his novel The Sun Also Rises is used to describe the anxiety felt by Jake towards issues of his own sexuality.
[...] The repeated use of still-life during the actual act of fishing in chapter XII only serves to support the anxiety experienced by Jake in his bonding with Bill. While they are fishing, Bill suggests to Jake that they cool the wine by placing the bottles in the stream. Jake then places the bottles inside an “iron pipe” out of which spring flowed.” This pipe is obscured by board over the spring” (TSAR 123). By doing so, Jake has created a still-life composed of the iron pipe, plank, and two bottles. [...]
[...] One major example of artistic genres to mirror the internal anxieties of the narrative focus is the fishing sequence that occurs in The Sun Also Rises. Heminingway uses both landscape and still life in the fishing sequence occurring between chapters XI and XII to explore the insecurities that the impotent Jake Barnes has regarding his own sexual identity. Specifically, the fishing excursion calls into question notions of male bonding and its often uncomfortable parallel with homoeroticism. In this sequence, the landscape and still life techniques taken from Cezanne work together to create a safe space in which male bonding may occur without the general disapproval of society at large. [...]
[...] In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway used the techniques of Cezanne to portray the sexual insecurity and general existential anxieties of Jake Barnes. By using landscape to mirror the chaotic nature of the world, Hemingway manages to show us how Jake reacts to the societal pressures and boundaries exerted upon him in his daily life. These societal pressures strain relations between him and his friend Bill as they attain a kind of intimacy which is looked down upon as unnatural in the world of societal values. [...]
[...] Cezanne's landscapes are in the tradition of landscape as a reinterpretation of memory as it is duplicated through the consciousness of the artist. Landscape, in this sense, is ultimately the imposition of the artists own interior world upon the chaotic exterior world of nature; thus, it could be said of Hemingway that he was trying to use landscape as a means of reordering and examining those phenomena which his journalist sensibilities perceived in the chaotic exterior world of human interactions (Berman 41). [...]
[...] The values of society (fenced in by “squares of green and brown”) are in a sense and are transitory and constantly “changing” therefore devaluing themselves in the eyes of Jake and the other lost characters of the novel. However, there is a place outside of these barren patches of devaluation, and it is in this place which will become the sight of the bonding between Jake and Bill. The woodland is flanked by rolling green plain” in which “there were cattle grazing.” This pastoral woodland leads inevitably to another set of mountains. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee