The Sun Also Rises

by

Ernest Hemingway

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The Sun Also Rises: Personification 1 key example

Definition of Personification
Personification is a type of figurative language in which non-human things are described as having human attributes, as in the sentence, "The rain poured down on the wedding guests, indifferent... read full definition
Personification is a type of figurative language in which non-human things are described as having human attributes, as in the sentence, "The rain poured down... read full definition
Personification is a type of figurative language in which non-human things are described as having human attributes, as in the... read full definition
Chapter 10
Explanation and Analysis—The Honest Face:

In Chapter 10, as Bill and Jake converse one morning in their hotel before going on their fishing trip, Bill lets slip that Robert and Brett shared the trip together to San Sebastian. While Jake reacts poorly to the news, Bill playfully wonders why he is not a source of attraction for Brett:

He looked at his face carefully in the glass, put a big dab of lather on each cheek-bone. "It's an honest face. It's a face any woman would be safe with."

"She'd never seen it."

"She should have. All women should see it. It's a face that ought to be thrown on every screen in the country. Every woman ought to be given a copy of this face as she leaves the altar. Mothers should tell their daughters about this face.”

The personification of Bill's face as an “honest” thing with which any woman could be safe turns it into an entity of its own: it is an eminently eligible bachelor, one that deserves prominent display and endless romance. Through this personification, Hemingway establishes Bill’s playful and easygoing demeanor; just a few lines later, after rinsing his face, he rescinds his previous comments and counters that his is "an awful face." This attitude stands in sharp contrast to the disposition of both Robert and Jake, who spend the bulk of the novel completely preoccupied with Brett and her romances (and are thus unable to speak so lightheartedly about the matter).