The Sun Also Rises Book II, Chapter 16 Summary and Analysis
by Ernest Hemingway

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Book II, Chapter 16 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Edna: Bill’s friend from Biarritz who parties in Pamplona

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Marcial Lalanda: a fading bullfighter

Don Manuel Orquito: the fireworks king

Raphael: bullfight critic with Romero

Algabeno: bullfighter hurt in Madrid

The next morning rain and fog drive the fiesta inside. When Jake goes to his room, Montoya comes to see him. He tells Jake that the American ambassador has sent for Romero and Lalanda to join him for coffee. Montoya expresses concern that, although this action would be good for Lalanda, attention may spoil Romero. Jake suggests Montoya does not give him the message.

After Montoya leaves, Jake goes for a walk and to dinner. His friends have been drinking for a while, so Jake feels out of place. Romero, who is at the next table, invites him to his table. Jake meets Romero’s friend, a bullfight critic. They talk for a while about Romero’s career and tomorrow’s fight.

As they are talking, Brett calls from the other table. She insists on being introduced and has obviously not taken her eyes off Romero. They move to another table and Brett sits by Romero. Mike is drunk and saying things about Brett. After toasts, Romero leaves. Then Mike and Robert again have words about his hanging around Brett. Mike and Robert nearly come to blows until Jake intervenes.

Jake and Mike leave. As they are standing in the square, Brett and Bill join them. They watch fireworks that do not dissipate but rather fall to the sidewalk. They go back into the cafe for a drink, but it is too crowded. They are joined by Bill’s friend Edna and finally go to a bar to drink. Mike begins to flirt with her.

When people filter away, Brett and Jake are left with Robert hanging around. Brett rudely tells him to leave so she can talk to Jake. They both express hatred and disgust for Robert. As they take off from the bar, they notice Robert has been outside watching them. They walk, then sit silently in the moonlight. Brett confides to Jake she has fallen in love with Romero. She asks Jake to arrange the affair.

They find him in the cafe. Brett is nervous and says she has never felt this insecure before. Romero joins them. As they are sitting, Brett takes his hand to tell his fortune. Jake signals to Romero this is okay, and Jake makes an excuse to leave. When he checks the cafe 20 minutes later, they are gone.

The rain at the beginning of Chapter 16 is a Hemingway signal of impending disaster. This chapter covers several occurrences, but it basically focuses on one event—Brett’s affair with Romero and Jake’s role in it.

As Brett and Jake are walking, Brett is worked up. She first asks Jake if he loves her. She then says she is “a goner.” Her hands are trembling, and she tells Jake she has lost self-respect. She has always done whatever she wanted to do, but this is different from her other conquests. When she begins to flirt with Romero, she loses all nervousness, though. She is in familiar territory.

Jake also realizes potential consequences of the affair to Romero as a bullfighter. At the beginning of the chapter, Jake sees the importance of not spoiling Romero by suggesting Montoya keep Romero from the American ambassador. However, when Brett asks for his help, he does so although she poses a greater threat.

This endangers Jake’s position with other aficiónados . Montero sees Romero drinking cognac and sitting with a woman “with bare shoulders” and...

(The entire section is 917 words.)