Robert Cohn, an Outsider Among Outsiders

Amir Farjami
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Robert Cohn, an Outsider among Outsiders

    Ernest Hemingway with his novel The Sun Also Rises, as a successful writer professionally showed his attitude towards moral impoverishment, isolation, hopelessness and futility of life after World War I. What Gertrude Stein coined as the "Lost Generation”, Hemingway portrayed in this novel its exact meaning and its characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to focus on Robert Cohn, one of the characters of this novel, who is an outsider among outsiders, because this character by his relationship with other characters shows alienation and most importantly Hemingway’s picture of this character is completely different among others.
    Although Robert has some similarities with other characters of expatriate group such as accompanying others or being a member of this society, his distinct characteristics split him from the rest, the critical reader should not be deceived while reading this novel to assume him as a part of this generation, because he tried to be among this group not for a long time and even his religion is different from others, as Jake says, "He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton" (Hemingway 10). In the beginning of the novel Cohn’s resemblance to other characters

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appears to connect him to expatriate or better to say “Lost Generation,” then it becomes clear that he is an outsider.
    Cohn feels like an outcast, he does not stay in one place like others; he is not affected by the war unlike others such as Jake who is impotent or Brett, who lost her husband, Mike’s excess drinking habit. Cohn is not able to drink like others and again this makes him different from others. His commitment to relationships and his principles distinctively separates him from others, Jake says, “For four years his...