What are they looking for in Chapter 9 in The Sun Also Rises? What is the relationship of Jake to the Catholic Church?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Several times in the novel, Jake admits to being raised Catholic but not being very religious. At one point in the story, he enters a church with Brett to pray and it is obvious that he is a lapsed Catholic. While Jake, Bill and Robert are on this train, they prove once again how lost they are. It seems as if their main goal in life is to get drunk. The major theme of this novel is how lost this post World War I generation was - flitting around Europe with no goals, having sex, getting drunk, with no redeeming purpose to their lives.

In this chapter, the men are going on a fishing trip. Also on the train are some Catholics that are coming from Rome and going to Lourdes. There is a shrine in Lourdes where St. Bernadette is said to have seen the Blessed Virgin. This shrine is believed to cure people, so many Catholics go there to be healed.  The fishing trip is kind of a pilgrimage for Jake, Bill and Robert. If you read Chapter 11 that describes the fishing expedition with Jake and Bill, you can see how redemptive it was for these two men. I highly recommend you read Chapter 11 to really answer your questions.

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The Sun Also Rises

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