Lady Brett

1236 words 5 pages
The Characterization of Lady Brett

In the novel by Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises, the character named Lady Brett Ashley is assimilated in the words of another character, Mike, with the Greek Goddess Circe. This Goddess is known in Homer's Odyssey for luring men with her irresistible charms and transforming them into animals. If this myth was to partake in reality, it would be without doubt represented in this novel. The majority of men in the story are tormented and subject to Brett's physical and sexual assets. The first characterization we get from her is one of a selfish, alcoholic, manipulative, sexual and evil woman who emasculates her male partners. However, this superficial characterization would ignore the principle
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She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht and you missed none of it with that wool jersey” (30). She does not only dress like man, she controls men. With the exception of Bill, every men is tormented by her charms, Jake explains this feeling in few words : “To hell with you.
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Brett Ashley” (152). The couple composed by the new woman that is seen through Brett Ashley, and the broken man that is symbolized by Jake, best represents this shift in the perception gender in a post-war. If seen in this angle, Lady Brett is undoubtedly a positive female model in her times. Thirdly, although she has numerous sexual encounters, Brett is driven by passion, not sex. As said previously, her image consists of a dominating promiscuous female model that devours her male partners, but this interpretation lacks deeper meaning. Even though she has a relationship with every men, Brett does it out of passion, each of the men represent a side she craves. Jake is the man she loves but cannot have. Cohn is the pre-war values which she embraces but also rejects because she cannot fit a lifestyle limited by them anymore. Romero, seems to be the man that best represents her passionate aspect. She genuinely has feelings for this pure, strong and elegant man who nears perfection in her eyes : “it seems as if she is going to sacrifice another