The Sun Also Rises Study Guide

The Sun Also Rises By Ernest Hemingway

Jake Barnes and his friend Robert Cohn are competing over the affections of Brett Ashely, who is fiancéed to Mike Campbell. Brett happens to have healed Jake of a war injury that left him impotent, though they remain in a shaky sort of love. They meet up with Bill Gorton, a friend of Jake's from his time in WWI, and travel to Pamplona. Jake has an interest in bullfighting, and a big fiesta is planned with lots of bulls.

When the fiesta begins, the highlight of the first day is a bullfight featuring Pedro Romero, a young prodigy who impresses everyone. Brett is consumed with him, and persuades Jake to introduce her to him. Jake does, and Brett sleeps with the bullfighter.

Everyone wants to know where she went, and Robert attacks Mike and Jake, knocking them both out. When Jake catches up with him, Robert begs his forgiveness. The next day, Jake learns that he beat the crap out of Pedro Romero as well. Robert leaves in the morning.

That afternoon, Romero bullfights brilliantly, and gives the dead bull's ear to Brett. The two leave for Madrid together, leaving Jake with Mike (the jilted fiancé) and Bill (the friend of Jakes) for a day before they go their separate ways.

Jake goes to San Sebastian, but receives a telegram from Brett asking him to meet her in Madrid. When he arrives, he finds her alone in a hotel room. She has broken up with Romero, fearing she would ruin his career, and announces that she wishes to return to Mike. Jake helps her set up her return to him, and as they ride in a taxi toward her goal, Brett laments that she and Jake could have had a wonderful time together but for his injury. Jake responds "Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?"

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