Social Sensitivity

From the start, The Sun Also Rises has stirred controversy. When the novel was first published, high society attempted to match Characters in the book with certain well-known celebrities from the expatriate world. The thrill of this guessing game soon subsided, however, leaving Hemingway’s Characters to be examined in their own right. Although promiscuity, apathy, and alcoholism figure prominently in the behavior of Brett and the other expatriates, most readers deemed their actions more chic than immoral. Thus, while The Sun Also Rises explicitly criticizes expatriate society for lacking a moral foundation, public reaction to the book over the years has pointed up the hypocrisy of society at large for refusing to cast harsh judgment on those people it considers sufficiently glamorous.

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