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He had been close friends with Robert, and had been through a similar situation with Brett, so he had both compassion and understanding for Roberts position.The only problem was the way Robert choose to deal with his feelings.
He suffered an njury that caused him to be castrated.
The first hint of this is when he says to Georgeette I was hurt in the war (24) in refrence to why they can not have physical realtions.
Robert also could not stand to see Brett with another man, but he displayed this much differently. Behavior like his was impossible for Jake to respect and he hated this part of Robert.
Roberts presense bothered Jake even though they had been close friends. None of this would have even been a problem if life during that time had been a little more solid in a moral sense.
This injury is one that makes him insecure, but worse than that, it allows Brett to have almost complete control over him.
Jake and Brett need each other emotionally, but Brett feels that she needs more. Jakes feelings toward his friend Robert Cohn are a combination jealousy, compassion, understanding, and hate.
This story takes place immediately after World War I, a time of great hardship.
This hardship results in a digression of values both morally and socially.
Jake no doubt would have preferred to have it differently, but he is accepting of the way it stands.
The hardship and the poverty that is so widely spread in that area during the post war time causes the people to lower their moral standards.