"Sex explains it all": Male Performance, Evolution, and Sexual Selection in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

"Sex explains it all": Male Performance, Evolution, and Sexual Selection in Ernest Hemingway's... ROBERT H . ELIAS ESSAY PRIZE WINNER "Sex explains it all" Male Performance, Evolution, and Sexual Selection in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises James A. Puckett, University of North Carolina Wilmington In recent years, literary scholars have begun to mark the ways in which Ernest Hemingway was influenced by and in turn represented Darwinian or evolutionary theory in his fiction, particularly in regards to sexuality. Notably, both Bert Bender and Paul Civello point to Hemingway's education in naturalism, Darwinism, and natural and sexual selection and the ways which this knowledge affected several of his major literary works--for example, the indifferent universe of A Farewell to Arms (1929), which indiscriminately allows both the morally good and the bad to die (Civello 79). In doing so, they each ultimately argue that by accepting and portraying a Darwinian understanding of human existence, Hemingway, who has often been noted for his "primitivism," can be viewed as a writer within the American naturalist tradition. Drawing upon contemporary research in evolutionary science and psychology, this essay elaborates on their work by exploring Hemingway's representation of male performance as it relates to sexual selection--that is, the succession of certain characteristics because they increase individuals' http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Naturalism University of Nebraska Press

"Sex explains it all": Male Performance, Evolution, and Sexual Selection in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

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Abstract

ROBERT H . ELIAS ESSAY PRIZE WINNER "Sex explains it all" Male Performance, Evolution, and Sexual Selection in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises James A. Puckett, University of North Carolina Wilmington In recent years, literary scholars have begun to mark the ways in which Ernest Hemingway was influenced by and in turn represented Darwinian or evolutionary theory in his fiction, particularly in regards to sexuality. Notably, both Bert Bender and Paul Civello point to Hemingway's education in naturalism, Darwinism, and natural and sexual selection and the ways which this knowledge affected several of his major literary works--for example, the indifferent universe of A Farewell to Arms (1929), which indiscriminately allows both the morally good and the bad to die (Civello 79). In doing so, they each ultimately argue that by accepting and portraying a Darwinian understanding of human existence, Hemingway, who has often been noted for his "primitivism," can be viewed as a writer within the American naturalist tradition. Drawing upon contemporary research in evolutionary science and psychology, this essay elaborates on their work by exploring Hemingway's representation of male performance as it relates to sexual selection--that is, the succession of certain characteristics because they increase individuals'

Journal

Studies in American NaturalismUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 26, 2013

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