Illustration of a bull and a bullfighter

The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

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Book II, Chapter 13 Summary

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Last Updated April 14, 2023.

During a breakfast in Burguete, Jake gets a letter from Michael informing him that they will gather in Pamplona on Tuesday. Michael apologizes for the delay and mentions that they had to take a break to recover because Brett fainted on the train. Jake suggests that Harris should join them, but he declines and decides to spend the remaining time fishing.

Bill and Jake are seated on a bench outside the inn when they receive a telegram from Robert. The message is so short that it annoys them, prompting them to send a similarly ambiguous reply. Later, they visit a nearby monastery and then head to a pub with Harris, who appreciates their companionship. As they prepare to leave, Harris gives them envelopes filled with fishing flies before seeing them off at the bus stop. They depart for Pamplona.

Preparations for a festival in Pamplona underway. Jake encounters Montoya, the owner of the hotel, who informs him that Mike, Brett, and Robert have also arrived and have gone to watch pelota, a game similar to jai alai. Montoya then reveals that the running of the bulls is scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m. that evening.

Montoya admires Jake for his love and dedication towards bullfighting. The hotel is a hub for people who share the same passion for bullfighting, and Montoya considers individuals like Jake to be honorable within this community. Montoya displays pictures of bullfighters on the wall, but only those whom he deems as true aficiónados. Pictures of other bullfighters are either kept in a drawer or discarded.

After returning to the room, Bill asks about the running of the bulls from Jake. They locate the rest of the group sitting at a table on the street. Upon meeting, Mike and Brett warmly welcome them, but Robert only acknowledges their presence. Robert explains that he didn't come to fish with Bill and Jake so that he could bring Brett and Mike instead. Brett objects to this statement.

During their conversation, they talked about Mike's previous experiences, including his military service and financial struggles. Mike tell them about how he was invited to a dinner with the Prince of Wales and was required to wear his medals. He borrowed some medals from a tailor for the occasion and later gifted them to some girls. The tailor wanted the medals back as they belonged to a military personnel who had entrusted them to the tailor for cleaning. Mike refused to return them.

Robert and Brett walk alongside each other as the group heads towards the area where the bulls are being unloaded. Spectators gather along the path to catch a glimpse of the bulls. As the first bull emerges from its container into the enclosure, it displays its strength by targeting the steers and then charging at a man. Everyone observes the precise movements of the bulls.

Brett is intrigued as she observes a second bull entering the ring and attacking a steer, which manages to survive despite being injured. The two bulls and the injured steer work together to integrate the new bull into their group. Eventually, all four animals submit to each other, forming a single herd.

After the show, Mike, Robert, Jake, Bill, and Brett head to the café for some drinks. While chatting about bulls and steers, Mike draws a comparison between Robert and a steer, leading to a heated exchange between Robert and Mike. Mike insults Robert several times, and the conversation shifts to how Robert tends to follow Brett around like a steer.

Mike continues to insult Robert by saying that he...

(This entire section contains 785 words.)

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was never invited to parties in San Sebastian because nobody wanted to be around him. This angers Robert to the point where he stands up as if he wants to fight Mike, but he doesn't follow through with the threat. Bill shows sympathy for Robert and decides to leave with him. Robert is clearly upset, and Jake and Brett are also upset with Mike for his hurtful words.

Once Robert departs, Brett agrees with Mike's emotions, but she disagrees with the way he mocked Robert. Later, Mike discloses to Jake that Robert traveled to San Sebastian to spend time with Brett and had been staring at her incessantly. They urge Jake to convey to Robert that he needs to change his behavior or leave Pamplona.

Jake talks to Montoya in his room, who voices dissatisfaction with the bull quality. Later, when Jake encounters Bill, he informs him about Mike's poor treatment of Robert. They anticipate tension between Mike and Robert during dinner, but Mike acts as though nothing has occurred. Eventually, Robert becomes more comfortable and warms up. Nonetheless, he continues to stare at Brett.

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