Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises includes striking parallels between the post WWI and todays era. Strikingly similar are the facts that the cast of characters (and society at large) were living indebted beyond their means, and that they spent the bulk of their time socializing and seeking entertainment.
The main characters include Kohn. Kohn is a washed-up boxer. Then you also have an oversensitive, over-educated, tag-a-long Jewish guy. Plus a hedonistic, and impulsive Lady Brett. They travel through Europe, watching bullfights, and running up massive bar tabs. They are constantly ordering room service for more alcohol. Wine, champagne , and truffles abound. The characters are expatriates and are moral-less. They live for tragedy, whether it is in their own lives, or for the tragic tension of the bullfight ( or even fishing).
The saving grace of the book is its only moral character. The bullfighter stands for principles and bravery, and has the love of his people as a result. He gets in a love triangle with the other characters. It doesn’t have a happy ending for him. Though he does everything right, he ends up bloodied, battered, and abused. That is meant to show that in that age hedonism ultimately won out over love and morality. That’s another thing that makes it similar to today’s circumstances.
The bullfighter in this story is like Trump and his supporters. I also give some credit to the Green Party and Libertarians for at least having principles. They are brave, united, and stand for what is right – even when its not so easy to do so. In the end they are abandoned by less principled characters, who stick their fingers in the wind – to see what is the easiest way out. –Steve
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