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The Symbolism of Water inHemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

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More Than Just Water: The Sun Also Rises In 1926, six years after World War I, Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises was released. The novel focuses on Jake Barnes, a veteran from the war, in which he sustained an injury leaving him impotent. Him and his friends travel from Paris to Pamplona throughout the book, hanging out, drinking, and eventually watching bull-fights. In the novel many symbols are used, such as water, which is traditionally used to show purification, Hemingway uses the symbol of water to show its effects on characters in the novel. Throughout The Sun Also Rises the reader has the point of view of Jake Barnes. ...read more.


This could be considered a parallel to baptizing, the reason she bathes so much is due to her desire to purify herself and cleanse her sins after being with Cohn or another man. In this way, Brett wants to use water as a method to get rid of her impurities. Furthermore, water is used in other minor parts during the novel. When Jake and Bill go to Burguete they go on a fishing trip. When the two get to the river you can sense a bit of a change in Jake, he seems to become more and more relaxed around the water. This could be an example of the cleansing effect water has. Before they begin fishing they decide to "put the wine in that spring..." ...read more.


The wines effects on them appear to make them more pensive then drunk, leaving the reader thinking that the water from the river may have purified it a bit. An old African proverb says that filthy water cannot be washed, this may be because water itself is a purification tool. Hemingway does use water as a symbol of rinsing ones impurities, but in some cases, such as with Lady Brett Ashley, he may be showing that everything can't always be fixed with something as simple as bathing. Contrary to this is how Jake reacts to water, in Burguete he relaxes and it soothes him, but he doesn't see the water as a means to an end like Brett seems to. Water is an everyday object that most don't think twice about, but in The Sun Also Rises Hemingway makes you. (528 Words) ...read more.

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