Illustration of a bull and a bullfighter

The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

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Book II, Chapter 18 Summary

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Last Updated on April 14, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 534

Brett visits on the final day of the festival, orders a beer, and inquires if Robert has departed. She questions Jake about his emotions and tells him that Robert has severely harmed Romero. Mike, who has been drinking quietly, begins mocking Brett for her relationships with Romero and Robert. Brett requests that Jake accompany her on a walk. During their stroll, she appears glowing and expresses her affection and anxiety for Romero, stating that his community does not approve of her. They pause at a church to offer prayers for Romero.

Upon returning to the hotel, Romero invites her to his room for lunch while Jake visits Mike's room and finds him attempting to sleep off his inebriation. Later, Bill and Jake eat at a restaurant and engage in little conversation. Brett joins them after they have finished their meal.

The trio head to the bullring and take seats beside each other. On the last day, the president graces the event with his presence and grand ceremonies and rituals are observed. Romero is positioned in the middle when the matadors make an entrance into the arena. He wears a low hat to conceal injuries inflicted by Robert. The matadors enter the ring and pay respect to the president's box by bowing. Romero then passes his cape made of gold-brocade to his sword handler who, in turn, gives it to Brett.

Belmonte comes first in the fight, but it is not very exciting, and the audience is against him. He is not focused on facing Marcial but instead wants to take on Romero, who has gained popularity and is a threat to his retirement. Romero fights in a way that Belmonte can no longer match. Following Belmonte's fight, Marcial takes his turn in the ring.

Romero is up for the next fight despite his injury from Robert's beating and the bull's poor vision. Even though the crowd wants to see a different bull, Pedro steps up to fight this one instead. During the fight, Romero skillfully maneuvers the bull, even allowing it to pass dangerously close. However, the crowd feels disappointed and turns against Romero. Marcial is next, and he manages to excite the audience.

Romero's final bull was responsible for Vincente's demise in the morning. It was a capable and formidable bull that Romero handled with ease and skill. Despite Romero's efficient and seamless performance, the audience urged him to keep going when he began to kill the bull. Eventually, Romero succeeded in killing the bull and presented Brett with its ear as a trophy. The audience was so captivated by Romero's skill that they swarmed around him, lifting him onto their shoulders.

Following the bullfight, the group returns to the hotel to indulge in food and drinks. Bill shows concern for Robert's well-being and his future plans, whereas Jake expresses indifference towards it. However, he drinks heavily to feel better and ends up feeling more intoxicated than ever before when he retires to his room. Later, Jake checks in on Brett, but she has already left with Romero. Despite his attempts to sleep, he fails to do so and eventually joins Mike and Bill in the dining room, which appears to be empty.

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