Book II, Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis

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Tourists from Montana (unnamed except for son Hubert): on train to Spain

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Priest on Pilgrimage: Catholic priest on train on pilgrimage to Rome

After the prize fight, Jake receives a cable from Robert saying he will join them on their fishing trip. Jake cables him to meet them in Bayonne. Later when Jake sees Mike and Brett, they ask to go to Spain, too.

Mike leaves, and Jake and Brett are at the bar. When they are alone, Brett asks if Robert is going to Spain with them. She expresses concern and tells Jake she and Robert had been together in San Sebastian. Jake’s sarcastic reaction shows his displeasure with the news. She tells Jake that on the trip, Robert had been dull. She also says she realizes seeing her in Spain with Mike will be hard on Robert.

They agree to let Robert decide about going. When Brett writes, though, Robert is excited about the idea. They make plans to meet in Pamplona.

Bill and Jake take the train where they sit with other Americans. They get sandwiches while awaiting their turn in the dining car and enjoy the passing scenery. When the train stops at Bayonne, Robert is awaiting them.

One of the main occurrences in this chapter is the deepening of the breach between Robert and Jake. Jake had already begun to feel irritated with Robert; but after the revelation of his affair with Brett, Jake begins to feel animosity and disgust toward him. For example, at the station at Bayonne, for the first time Jake notices Robert is nearsighted. As it turns out, this is both literally and figuratively true where Brett is concerned.

Robert is infatuated with Brett, but she thinks he “gets a little dull.” Because of his infatuation, Robert makes a foolish choice about going to Spain with Brett and Mike. He is unable to be objective while around Brett and will be hurt. Jake knows Robert is the type of commonplace man who could never satisfy Brett permanently, but he is still unable to handle the affair.

Regardless of that knowledge, the breach beginning between Robert and Jake is consummated by the physical consummation between Robert and Brett. By being able to satisfy Brett physically even for a time, Robert accomplishes what Jake will never be able to do for her. Jake’s sarcastic “Congratulations” shows his disdain for their affair.

Jake’s obvious hurt with the news continues with further sarcasm, a side of Jake the reader has not seen much before. When Brett says she...

(The entire section contains 661 words.)

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