Describe Brett's reaction as she watched a bullfight.  Did you think her reaction fit your perception of Brett?  Why or why not?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lady Brett Ashley in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises is the corrupt English aristocratic woman of a certain period of American literature. She is almost defined by a certain predatory sexuality combined with sadism; she is, whether literally or figurative portrayed as a dominatrix. Her reaction to the bull fight is one of sexual arousal. This arousal responds to two different aspects of the fight, the handsomeness of Pedro Romero, with his athleticism and expertise, and the savagery of the bulls goring the horses and their death agonies. This scene enhances the sense that Lady Brett's sexuality is inherently sadistic and that she is excited by others' pain. This seems consistent with the pattern of Lady Brett's relationships with men.