Though some are veterans of the war, now they live their lives in shallow pursuits living only for immediate pleasure.
When it is time to win Ashley, none of the main characters are up to the task.
The novel portrays the old image of manliness as a lost ideal.
Men are no longer heroic and they experience this impotence both figuratively in the fact that they cannot accomplish anything meaningful, and literally in the case of Jake’s sexual impotence.
Jake, the novel’s narrator, is a journalist and World War I veteran.
During the war Jake suffered an injury that rendered him impotent.They have no meaningful commitments to ideals or each other. The characters are devoid of purpose and remain unfulfilled in almost all ways.Masculinity and the Fragility of Male Ego There is only one female character in the novel and the male characters surround her like predators.While Mike, Cohn, and, incidentally, Jake spar over Brett, Brett runs off to Madrid with Romero.After the festival ends, Jake, Mike, and Bill leave Pamplona.Lost Generation, who came of age during World War I (1914–18).Two of the novel’s main characters, Lady Brett Ashley and Jake Barnes, typify the Lost Generation.Before they leave, Jake and Bill run into Brett, who has recently returned from Spain, and her fiancé, Mike.Brett and Mike ask to accompany Jake and Bill to Pamplona.(The title obliquely references Jake’s injury and what no longer rises because of it.) After the war Jake moved to Paris, where he lives near his friend, the Jewish author Robert Cohn. Jake and Brett met and fell in love during the war, when Brett, a volunteer nurse, helped treat Jake’s injuries.Although it is not said explicitly, it is implied that they are not together because Jake is impotent and Brett unwilling to give up sex.