In The Sun Also Rises, what do Pamplona and Madrid mean to Jake? To Brett? To Robert Cohn?
These cities mean different things and to different characters. What exactly can be the summary of the what these locations do for these characters?
Spain is a getaway for each of these characters in The Sun Also Rises, but it does hold different symbolic and practical meanings for these three characters – Cohn, Brett, and Jake.
For Cohn, Spain is a place where he can prove himself. The social hierarchy that existed in Paris is relaxed somewhat in Spain and Cohn takes advantage of this to try to win Brett and challenge the social order.
For Brett, the suffocating social atmosphere of Paris is left behind in Paris and she seeks a complete escape in Spain, where she falls for a young bull fighter and generally loosens all her social ties, including her ties to Jake.
For Jake, Spain is a place with honorable customs, clear, traditional roles and dignified people. In Jake’s view in particular, all of these characteristics of Spain are in sharp contrast to Paris, where his own role and relationships are unclear and undignified.