Cy Maughmer

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

English Language and Literature

First Advisor

Charles Cunningham

Second Advisor

Elisabeth Daumer


Although scholarly journals are flooded with articles analyzing the work of Ernest Hemingway, one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century, there are few that explore his portrayal of marriage and its allegorical relationship to "modern" metropolitan life. Many critics have read Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises and commented on its blatant representations of misogyny, hyper-masculinity, and even its manifestations of latent homosexuality. While these elements are certainly prevalent in the novel, and many other works by Hemingway, they are but micro-manifestations of a larger scheme. It is my intention to analyze The Sun Also Rises using a series of primary texts by Hemingway and ideas/concepts by an author who influenced his views on metropolitan life. The works by Hemingway include, but are not limited to: "Cat in the Rain," "The End of Something," and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." The views and works of Henry David Thoreau are also paramount to my interpretation. Hemingway's stories serve to identify a theme of bondage and entrapment that does not begin and end on the feminine side of matrimony, meaning that these representations cannot be dismissed as mere misogyny. Although the connection between the bondage of marriage and the constraints of metropolitan life is prevalent throughout SAR and Hemingway's short stories, Thoreau's works aid in establishing Hemingway's influence, and they offer a broader theoretical mindset in which these works can be discussed sufficiently. Any claims about Hemingway's life that serve to advance the analysis of the texts are supported by The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, a work that provides detailed descriptions of Hemingway's life and, of course, letters written by him. This thesis takes the form of a 40-60 page research paper.