Book II, Chapters 10-11 Summary and Analysis

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Juanito Montoya: Pamplona hotel owner; passionate bullfight enthusiast

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Basque: peasant on bus

The next morning Bill, Robert, and Jake buy fishing equipment. They hire a car and drive toward Pamplona where they wait at the border with armed guards. They see a man who is trying to cross the border waved back with guns. After they are cleared, they drive up into Spain. They climb into the mountains amid streams and fields of grain.

They drive to Pamplona past a grand cathedral and bullring to the Hotel Montoya. After they clean up, they have lunch, a typical Spanish meal with several courses. At lunch Robert at first seems awkward about his affair with Brett. After the subject is broached, though, he takes on a superior air of having inside information about her, which irritates Bill and Jake.

While they are awaiting dinner, each man goes to do individual activities. Jake makes sure his bullfight tickets are okay. Then he goes to the cathedral and prays for everyone he knows. Eventually his prayers go into secular thoughts, so he leaves.

At dinner, Robert’s nervousness is obvious. He has shaved and cleaned up in anticipation of Brett’s arrival. He leaves dinner early to go to the station in case Brett and Mike show up. Jake and Robert wait until the last person has gotten off the train, but Mike and Brett are not there. When they return, Jake receives a telegram saying they have stopped in San Sebastian.

The next morning Jake’s disdain for Robert is deepened when Robert says he is not going fishing. He confides he is afraid Brett went to San Sebastian to meet him, so he stays to catch up with Mike and Brett. Jake explodes when he finds out Robert has confided his affair to Bill. Although Bill is irritated with him, too, he says he is glad Robert is staying because he and Jake will not have to deal with him on the fishing trip.

As Chapter 11 opens, Bill and Jake take the bus to Burguete for fishing. On the trip they share wine with peasants on the crowded bus. The bus stops a few places along the way to take on packages. One stop is at an inn, or posada, for passengers to rest and get a drink. After exchanging many drinks with Basques, the bus starts off again.

They meet a man on the bus who used to live in America. When they get to Burguete, they are met by a soldier who wants to know what is in their fishing case. They get a room; and when they come downstairs, the inn is so cold they can see their breaths. Wine comes with the room, so they get their money’s worth. After supper they go to their room.

Chapters 10 and 11 move Jake toward his destiny with his values. Religion is mentioned several times. Jake points out the monastery of Roncevalles. On the way to fish, they pass the church and schoolyard in Burguete. He also mentions his trip into Spain when a cathedral dominates the skyline. In Pamplona, he sees the church and bullring as dominant. All these relate to a time when the church was an integral part of the landscape. Those values are ones Jake missed in Paris.

In Pamplona, Jake goes into the church to pray, like a religious person. The church is dim, a good place for a sinner not to be confronted by his sins. However, though his prayers begin like the normal religious ritual, they become perverted when he prays for himself twice; then he prays he “would make a lot of money.” His thoughts turn away from God to the Count, Jake’s symbol of debauchery of the values he despises and that are so far from typical religion.

Robert is mentioned in a religious light but inappropriately, as is typical with Robert in social situations. First, Bill comments on Robert’s being Jewish as a negative thing. Then, Robert notices the cathedral and says it is a “very good example of something or other,” a comment that shows his lack of experience or refinement.


(The entire section contains 1179 words.)

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