Illustration of a bull and a bullfighter

The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

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Places Discussed

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*Paris. French capital, in which the novel opens. There, American newspaperman Jake Barnes lives and works in the midst of a community of American and British expatriates who find the city a wasteland of values. A question regarding values that arises early in the book is the contrast between work and idleness, and this opposition is reflected in the Parisian locales frequented by Jake and his friends.

Paris is split by the River Seine into two sections: the Right Bank (Rive Droite) and the Left Bank (Rive Gauche). In the novel, work is associated with the Right Bank. Jake’s newspaper office, for example, is on the Right Bank, in the vicinity of the avenue de l’Opéra and the Tuileries garden. On the Right Bank, too, he encounters Georgette, who as a prostitute is a working woman.

When Jake, with Georgette in tow, goes partying with his idle and rich expatriate friends, they go to the Left Bank, near the Panthéon. There they encounter Jake’s love, Lady Brett, with an entourage of gay men. The similarity between Georgette and Brett is emphasized by their rhyming names and their promiscuity; the difference between them is that one engages in sex professionally, and the other is an alcoholic amateur in promiscuity.

It is evident that Ernest Hemingway endorses the values of work and the Right Bank, rather than the bohemian idleness of the Left Bank, for those who work are realistic and tough-minded, while those who remain idle are escapist and emotionally untidy. However, both workers and idlers, realists and escapists, all of them are physically or emotionally wounded: Jake is impotent, Brett is an adulterer, Cohn has a broken nose, Georgette has rotten teeth. Hence, both the Right Bank and the Left Bank are like Paris as a whole, wastelands of lost values and denatured love.


*Pyrenees (pihr-ah-neez). Mountain range running along the border between France and Spain to which Jake takes his newly arrived American friend Bill Gorton on a five-day fishing trip. If Paris is hellish, the Spanish hamlets in which the men stay in the mountains are edenic. Hemingway depicts landscapes of breathtaking natural beauty in which nature and humanity coexist in a blessed ecological union, as when “fields of grapes touched the houses.” It is an idyllic and healing experience, contrasting with that of Paris. Whereas Jake suffers from insomnia and cries in the night in Paris; in the Pyrenees, he sleeps soundly and dreamlessly.


*Roncesvalles (rahn-sihs-VAH-yay; also known as Roncevaux). Spanish town in the Pyrenees whose medieval monastery Jake and Bill visit, along with the Englishman Wilson Harris whom they meet while fishing. The trip becomes almost a pilgrimage. For Roncesvalles is a relic of an epoch when friendship, valor, and combat had meaning. Indeed, it is the site of the French national epic, The Song of Roland (twelfth century), an epic that celebrates the true friendship of Roland and Oliver and the prowess of their small band of courageous companions who died fighting against a Moorish invasion, thereby buying time for Charlemagne to redeploy the forces that saved Europe for Christianity. At Roncevaux, even in modern times, Hemingway shows that friendship can have real worth and meaning. As the men part company, Harris gives Jake and Bill some fishing flies that he himself has tied—symbols of friendship valuable beyond anything that can be bought or sold.


*Pamplona (pam-PLOH-nah). Town in northern Spain in which Jake’s vacation with his friends reaches both its high and its low points. The men stay in the town during its famous annual Fiesta...

(This entire section contains 854 words.)

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de San Fermín, which lasts for a week in July. During this nominally religious fiesta, there are daily bullfights preceded by the running of the bulls through the city streets, followed by spontaneous eruptions of inebriated parties.

Hemingway uses Pamplona’s fiesta to highlight contrasts between meaningful and empty values. The bullfighter Pedro Romero represents the best values because, through work and artistry, he creates beauty out of violence, while risking his life in its creation. True fans of bullfighting, including Jake, know and understand this almost as if it were an article of religious faith.

The empty values are emblematized by Brett, who becomes a paganistic Circe-like figure attracting throngs of idle, pleasure-seeking party-goers. When Pedro (the worker-artist) and Brett (the partying idler) fall in love, Jake finds himself in a dilemma; he loves them both, yet knows that Brett’s lifestyle will endanger Pedro’s talent. However, through loyalty to his (impotent) love for Brett, Jake brings them together, only to be reviled by bullfight aficionados as a pimping traitor, and he is beaten up by Robert Cohn. Thus is the central drama of the novel played out in Pamplona.

*San Sebastian

*San Sebastian. Spanish seaside resort town in which Jake recuperates after the debacle in Pamplona, There, he goes for a long swim that is renewing and almost baptismal in effect, making him feel as though he “could never sink.” Afterward, he heeds Brett’s request to meet her in Madrid after she breaks off from Pedro.

Historical Context

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The Lost Generation Writers, horrified by the stranglehold of business and the uselessness of Prohibition, expatriated to Paris where the favorable exchange rate enabled them to work for a newspaper or magazine. Yet these writers usually spent most of their time sitting in cafes lost in the aftermath of a war for which they refused responsibility. Disillusioned, they discussed their inherited nineteenth-century values and the provincial and emotional barrenness of America. Fortunately, they found comfort in an older generation. Hemingway, armed with letters of introduction by Sherwood Anderson joined this group who flocked to Gertrude Stein’s Salon, Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company bookstore, the apartment of James Joyce the transatlantic review offices of Ford Madox Ford, or Samuel Putnam’s office. The older writers cultivated the members of what Stein labeled, after overhearing her mechanic, as “the lost generation.” Of the elders, Stein, who was the bridge between past and present, and Ezra Pound whom Hemingway tried to teach boxing in return for tutelage, were the most important influences on Hemingway.

“The Lost Generation” succeeded in poking through the rubble of civilization and manufacturing art anew. From war’s negation comes affirmation as a means to live with disillusionment. T. S. Eliot wove the old myths together into a poem of epic influence, “The Waste Land.” A new poetry was created by e. e. cummings. F. Scott Fitzgerald John Dos Passos, Hart Crane, and Glenway Westcott were members of this generation who helped rejuvenate the arts. The most important contribution of “The Lost Generation” was to prove the resiliency of culture and set it moving again with the hopeful idealism that would mark American literature in the 1930s.

The Roaring Twenties In the Europe of the mid-1920s, life was returning to normal and cities were being reconstructed after the devastation of World War I. Tensions, which still existed between France and Germany over border issues, were quiet, as France became isolated. The French war effort had depended on American loans and their repayment depended on reparations from Germany. These reparations were recovered with difficulty because Britain and the United States were hesitant to force matters. Still, Germany was potentially the most powerful nation in Europe and was quietly being given favorable loan terms by the United States. The French economy worsened when the franc was stabilized at 20% of its pre-war value. This had the effect of making France a collector of gold and brought adventure-seeking Americans, with moderate sums of dollars, to take advantage of exchange rates.

New Leaders Though a long way off, the leaders who would play a large role in World War II came to power. Josef Stalin assumed his 27-year dictatorship in the Soviet Union. He de-emphasized world revolution in favor of repressing and terrorizing Soviet citizens and Russian neighbors. The Politburo, meanwhile, expelled Leon Trotsky and Grigori Zinoviev. In Italy, Benito Mussolini assumed control of the country and the Fascist party became the party of state without opposition. Chiang Kai-shek succeeded Sun Yat-Sen and began to unify China. In Japan, Yoshihito died and his son became Emperor Hirohito (a role which he retained until his death in 1989).

Economics For members of the upper middle class or the rich, the twenties were indeed the era of prosperity, debauchery, and bootlegging. For the rest of humanity, life was still a struggle. The 1921 musical “Ain’t We Got Fun” encapsulates the period saying, “The rich get richer, and the poor get children.” Coal miners in America stretched their meager 75-cents-per-hour wages (roughly $7.50 in 1995 dollars) to feed their families. Public-school teachers made slightly less at $1000 a year. Labor movements were met with brutal force but there were few improvements. The Ford Motor Company introduced an 8-hour day and a 5-day week. The picture for blacks in America was especially hard with 85% of blacks living in the segregated south and 23% of them illiterate. Great numbers of blacks began migrating north to the cities with lasting demographic effects.

Meanwhile, labor relations in Britain were tantamount to class war. A general strike crippled the nation as coal miners belonging to the Trade Union Congress demanded, “Not a penny off the pay; not a minute on the day.” Many workers sympathetic to the miners (railwaymen, printers, dockworkers, construction workers, and others) went on strike as well. At the root of the problem was the decision by Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill to return to the gold standard. That decision had the effect of cheapening import prices and thus forcing mine operators to cut wages so as to compete with German and Polish imports. Economist John Maynard Keynes considered Churchill’s decision “silly.” Matters nearly erupted in violence as the Royal Navy trained its guns on strikers who tried to prevent the off-loading of ships at the docks.


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The novel opens in Paris in the early 1920s. The Left Bank of the Seine River was a magnet for philosophers, artists, and writers during the decade following the First World War; this era and place inspired some of the greatest artistic works of the modern age. Hemingway himself lived in Paris as a young man, and mingled with such literary figures as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

Although The Sun Also Rises opens in Paris and is informed by the sensibility of the American and British community there, its venue ranges across the European countryside. Jake and his friend Bill Gorton leave Paris by train to go fishing in the Basque country of Spain; then they join the other members of their party. The symbolic focus of the festival in Pamplona is the bullfight; ordinary citizens risk their lives every morning to "run with the bulls" through the streets of the city. Jake and his friends are expatriates and wanderers all, unable to call any one place home. Even Jake, who considers himself a true "aficionado"—one who understands and believes passionately in the bullfight—has his convictions shaken by the events that unfold over the course of the week; by the time he leaves Pamplona, he is a changed man. The novel ends in Madrid, where Jake and Brett ponder the changes they have undergone at the festival.

Literary Style

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Narrative The first-person narration of Jake Barnes is sometimes referred to as a “roman à clef.” A roman à clef is a story understandable only to those who have a “key” for deciphering the real persons and places behind the story. The story of Jake Barnes resembles the real events of the summer of 1925 in the life of Hemingway and his friends. Still there is enough difference that no “key” is needed for understanding. That is to say, the novel stands on its own whether or not the reader knows on whom the character Lady Brett Ashley is based. In addition, Jake Barnes is not Hemingway because in real life Hemingway was married when he went to Pamplona. Jake is a blending of several real people as well as a fruition of Hemingway’s theoretic code-hero. There is enough similarity for comparisons but the novel is in no way an autobiographical event. It is a story attempting to speak truths to the present generation.

Dialogue Hemingway’s dependence on dialogue is just one mark of his modernity. Henry James for example, felt dialogue was the climax of a scene and was to be used sparingly. Hemingway creates whole scenes solely from dialogue. However, Hemingway’s dialogue made the story an easy and fast read with effects similar to news writing. The author seems to disappear as the narrator allows his contact with others to balance out the story. It becomes a group conversation rather than a narration. Hemingway’s ability with this feature delighted many critics. Conrad Aiken remarked, “More than any other talk I can call to mind, it is alive with the rhythms and idioms, the pauses and suspensions and innuendoes and shorthands, of living speech. It is in the dialogue, almost entirely, that Mr. Hemingway tells his story and makes the people live and act.” The use of dialogue is one of the key features of Hemingway’s style.

Hero Hemingway’s solution to the ennui, or disillusioned nausea, that marked his “lost generation” was the encouragement of each person in their path to being a hero. However, as is clear in the novel, his theory did not include bravery in war or sport but insisted that the individual create a moral code. One must “never be daunted.”

Jake Barnes and friends are the best examples of Hemingway pursuing his theories. Succeeding Hemingway heroes do have the humanity to inspire our sympathy and imitation. This code-hero was defined eloquently by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks while discussing Hemingway’s “The Killers.” They said that the code-hero “is the tough man . . . the disciplined man, who actually is aware of pathos or tragedy.” Lacking spontaneous emotion, the code-hero “sheathes [his sensibility] in the code of toughness” because “he has learned that the only way to hold on to 'honor,' to individuality, to, even, the human order . . . is to live by his code.” Romero provides the clearest example not through his bullfighting but through his ability to ignore the bruises Cohn gives him in order to perform as he is capable. The success of the fiesta depends on his ability to do so. Brett and Jake also satisfy this definition. Brett decides she cannot corrupt the young bullfighter but will continue to live in style hiding her frustrated love. Jake decides he has to live according to his own code with the help of his stoicism.

Idiom The heavy use of dialogue, the terse, staccato sentences, and the minimalist tightness that characterizes descriptions and emotional expenditure are the marks of the style or idiom that Hemingway made his own. According to this idiom, carefully chosen language can relate fictional authenticity in such a way that it will never ring false, the goal being to carefully construct a world that has certitude and leave the uncertain unsaid. Thus the language appears often to refer to ideas beyond what is actually written. However, only the written words are to be trusted and only they are true. The effect of this new style is similar to Biblical genesis: reconstruct from the rubble of war a civilization of beauty and simplicity.

The bareness of the intention is best revealed on the fishing expedition, “Once in the night I woke and heard the wind blowing. It felt good to be warm and in bed.” Two sentences were used where previous writers would have expended chapters. Furthermore, it is an incredibly simple and stark contrast to the sleepless nights of Paris and it directly calls to mind the howls of the “Waste Land.”

Literary Qualities

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Examined in the context of early 1920s literature, Hemingway's writing in The Sun Also Rises displays a combination of conventional and groundbreaking techniques. The chronological, first-person narrative structure of the novel is relatively standard, whereas the intense, almost poetic style is unique. Hemingway eliminates ornamentation—such as excessive adjectives or adverbs—from his writing and employs rigorous word selection in an effort to unite action, emotion, and text.

Hemingway carefully modulates the rhythm of the text, often through the use of repetition and short sentences. When Brett turns up on Jake's doorstep at 4:30 a.m., she explains why she has left her escort:

...Then he wanted me to go to Cannes with him. Told him I knew too many people in Cannes. Monte Carlo. Told him I knew too many people in Monte Carlo. Told him I knew too many people everywhere. Quite true, too. So I asked him to bring me here.

The dialogue in The Sun Also Rises, like that in all of Hemingway's works, reveals character, carries the movement of the story, and generates tension. Brett's breathless rundown of her evening's activities highlights her flip, world-weary, and often drunken outlook on the world; whereas Cannes and Monte Carlo traditionally conjure up images of glamour and romance, behind Brett's offhand mention of these locales lies the unspoken fact that she and Jake can never be lovers. Throughout the novel, Hemingway's highly stylized dialogue contributes immensely to the book's power.

Hemingway uses the symbolic landscape to reveal the psychological and emotional workings of his characters. Landscapes are full of history and mirror the souls of the characters who traverse them. As Jake and Bill drive through the Basque country, Jake observes "squares of green and brown on the hillsides. Making the horizon were the brown mountains. They were strangely shaped." For Jake, as well as for his companions, travel is neither a novelty nor a means of escape; the peaceful countryside ringed by foreboding mountains represents the dark realities that mold human experience.

Social Sensitivity

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From the start, The Sun Also Rises has stirred controversy. When the novel was first published, high society attempted to match characters in the book with certain well-known celebrities from the expatriate world. The thrill of this guessing game soon subsided, however, leaving Hemingway's characters to be examined in their own right. Although promiscuity, apathy, and alcoholism figure prominently in the behavior of Brett and the other expatriates, most readers deemed their actions more chic than immoral. Thus, while The Sun Also Rises explicitly criticizes expatriate society for lacking a moral foundation, public reaction to the book over the years has pointed up the hypocrisy of society at large for refusing to cast harsh judgment on those people it considers sufficiently glamorous.

Compare and Contrast

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  • 1920s: Thomas Hunt Morgan proves his theory of hereditary transmission through experiments with fruit flies and publishes The Theory of the Gene in 1926. Coincidentally, Herman Joseph Mullar proves that X-rays can produce genetic mutations.

    Today: It is no longer speculation that genes provide the source code for life and can be mutated by radiation. In fact, Morgan’s groundbreaking experiment is now an exercise in college biology rooms. Moreover, armed with lessons in genetic engineering, biotechnology firms are literally changing the fabric of nature by gene manipulation and the techniques of cloning.

  • 1920s: The “Noble Experiment” of Prohibition is in full swing. Backers hope it will make America better by forcing its people to be sober. Instead, average citizens flout the law by patronizing illegal establishments run by the Mafia. Bootlegging is a billion-dollar industry.

    Today: The “War on Drugs” is mounted to stop the sale of hard drugs and urban deterioration in the United States.

  • 1920s: The tuna industry is in a crisis as albacore disappears off the California coast. The industry begins harvesting the lower quality yellowfin tuna.

    Today: The entire fishing industry is in a crisis with vast areas of the oceans fished out. Whole strata of the aquatic food chain have disappeared with lower-level fish, like jellyfish, producing record numbers for lack of predators. The situation is so bad that normally friendly nations (like Great Britain, Canada, Spain, and Portugal) have almost come to blows over fishing rights.

  • 1920s: The Spanish ritual of bullfighting is confined to Spain and parts of Latin America. It is purely a male domain.

    Today: The popularity of bullfighting continues to rise and many Americans venture to Pamplona for the bull run. There have been several female matadors and recently a female champion.

Media Adaptations

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  • Using a screenplay by Peter Viertel, Twentieth Century-Fox adapted The Sun Also Rises to the big screen. The movie was released in 1957 and was directed by Harry King. The film stars Tyrone Power, Ava Gardner, and Errol Flynn.
  • Directed by James Goldstone and starring Elisabeth Borgnine, The Sun Also Rises was adapted for television in 1985.

For Further Reference

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Baker, Carlos. Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story. New York: Scribner's, 1969. The first full-length biography of Hemingway, this volume remains the best and most reliable resource for a balanced portrait of the man and his career.

Hemingway: The Writer as Artist. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972. One of the earliest and still one of the best critical studies of Hemingway's works.

Bruccoli, Matthew J. Conversations with Ernest Hemingway. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986. A useful and convenient compilation of Hemingway interviews and statements.

Moore, Gene M. "Ernest Hemingway." In Research Guide to Biography and Criticism, edited by Walton Beacham. Washington, DC: Beacham Publishing, 1985. Contains a useful overview of Hemingway criticism and biography.

Oliver, Charles M., ed. The Hemingway Review. Most of the important new scholarly and critical work on Hemingway appears in this journal.

Reynolds, Michael. The Young Hemingway. New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986. The first volume in a multivolume biography of Hemingway, this judicious work is the most significant and substantive of the many biographies that have appeared since Baker's landmark study.

Wagner, Linda W., ed. Ernest Hemingway: Six Decades of Criticism. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1987. Contains some of the best critical essays on Hemingway's work.

Waldhorn, Arthur. A Reader's Guide to Ernest Hemingway. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972. A useful guide to Hemingway's work.

Williams, Wirt. The Tragic Art of Ernest Hemingway. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981. An interesting critical study of the tragic elements in Hemingway's work.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources Quotations for The Sun Also Rises are taken from the following edition: Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Scribner’s Paperback Fiction, 1954

Aiken, Conrad. “Expatriates.” In New York Herald Tribune Books, October 31, 1926, p. 4.

Aldridge, John W. “The Sun Also Rises—Sixty Years Later.” In The Sewanee Review, Vol XCIV, No. 2, Spring, 1986, pp. 337-45.

Baker, Carlos. In Hemingway: The Writer as Artist, third edition. Princeton University Press, 1963, p. 379.

Baskett, Sam S. “‘An Image to Dance Around’: Brett and Her Lovers in ‘The Sun Also Rises.’” In The Centennial Review, Vol. XXII, No. 1, Winter, 1978, pp. 45-69.

Brooks, Cleanth, Jr., and Robert Penn Warren. “‘The Killers’, Ernest Hemingway: Interpretation.” In Understanding Fiction, edited by Cleanth Brooks, Jr. and Robert Penn Warren. Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1959, pp. 306-25.

Doody, Terrence. “Hemingway’s Style and Jake’s Narration." In The Journal of Narrative Technique, Vol. 4, No. 3, September, 1974, pp. 212-25.

Farrell, James T. “Ernest Hemingway, Apostle of a ‘Lost Generation.’” In The New York Times Books Review, August 1, 1943, pp. 6, 14.

Hook, Andrew. “Art and Life in The Sun Also Rises.” In Ernest Hemingway: New Critical Essays, edited by A. Robert Lee. Vision Press, 1983, pp. 49-63.

Kumar, Sukrita Paul. “Woman as Hero in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises.” In The Literary Endeavour, Vol. VI, Nos. 1-4, 1985, pp. 102-08.

Lynn, David H. “The Sun Also Rises: Heroism of Innocence, Heroism of a Fallen World.” In The Hero’s Tale. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989, pp. 92–117.

Mizener, Arthur. The Sense of Life in the Modern Novel. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964.

“Marital Tragedy.” In The New York Times Book Review, October 31, 1926, p. 7.

Morris, Lawrence S. “Warfare in Man and among Men.” In The New Republic, Vol. XLIX, No. 629, December 22, 1926, pp. 142-43.

O’Sullivan, Sibbie. “Love and Friendship/Man and Woman in The Sun Also Rises.” In Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 2, Summer, 1988, pp. 76-97.

Reynolds, Michael S. The Sun Also Rises, a Novel of the Twenties. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1988. pp. ix–4.

Rovit, Earl H. “Ernest Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises.” In Landmarks of American Writing, edited by Hennig Cohen. Basic Books, Inc., 1969, pp. 303-14.

Schwartz, Nina. “Lovers’ Discourse in The Sun Also Rises: A Cock and Bull Story.” In Criticism, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Winter, 1984, pp. 49-69.

Spilka, Mark. “The Death of Love in The Sun Also Rises.” In Twelve Original Essays on Great American Novels, edited by Charles Shapiro. Wayne State University Press, 1958, pp. 238-56.

Tate, Allen. “Hard Boiled.” In The Nation, Vol. CXXIII, No. 3206, December 15, 1926, pp. 642, 644.

Young, Philip. Ernest Hemingway. Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1952, p. 244.

For Further Study Daiker, Donald A. “The Affirmative Conclusion of The Sun Also Rises.” In Modern American Fiction: Form and Function, edited by Thomas Daniel Young. Louisiana State University Press, 1989, pp. 39-56. Daiker asserts that a close reading of Book III reveals that The Sun Also Rises is an affirmative book.

Donaldson, Scott. “Humor in The Sun Also Rises.” In New Essays on The Sun Also Rises, edited by Linda Wagner-Martin. Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 19-41. Revealing that Hemingway started his writing career trying to be funny, Donaldson discusses the author’s use of humor in The Sun Also Rises.

Gross, Barry. “Dealing with Robert Cohn.” In Hemingway in Italy and Other Essays, edited by Robert W. Lewis. Praeger, 1990, pp. 123-30. Gross discusses the depiction of Robert Cohn and the issue of anti-Semitism in The Sun Also Rises.

Flemming, Robert E. “The Importance of Count Mippipopolous: Creating the Code Hero.” In Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 44., No. 2, Summer, 1988, pp. 69-75. Flemming contends that the Count may be an early prototype in Hemingway’s fiction of the character type known as the “code hero.”

Hemingway, Ernest. Death in the Afternoon. Touchstone Books, 1996. Contains Hemingway’s own discussion of his favorite sport—bullfighting. The book explains the ritual and provides pictures.

Josephs, Allen. “Toreo: The Moral Axis of The Sun Also Rises.” In Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, edited by James Nagel. G.K. Hall & Co., 1995, pp. 126-40. Josephs explores how and why the art of toreo lies at the heart of The Sun Also Rises.

Kwan, Albert. “The Sun Also Rises and On the Road.” At, 1998. World War II created a group of artists with similar disillusions to those of the Lost Generation. This group came to be know as the Beat Generation and in Albert Kwan’s essay Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac are compared.

Lynn, Kenneth S. Hemingway. Fawcett Books, 1988. In an attempt to be objective about Hemingway, Kenneth Lynn is seen by some fans as a bit harsh in this biographical account. It is an unusually balanced work for a Hemingway biography and it is not afraid to reveal some of the darker things about the famous writer.

Nagel, James. “Brett and the Other Women inThe Sun Also Rises.” In The Cambridge Companion to Hemingway, edited by Scott Donaldson. Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 87-108. In this discussion of the women in The Sun Also Rises, Nagel agues that, in order to come to terms with his emotional devastation, Jake tells his story—a cathartic reiteration that focuses on Brett and the women who surround her.

Nichols, Kathleen. “The Morality of Asceticism in The Sun Also Rises: A Structural Reinterpretation.” In Fitzgerald/Hemingway Annual, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Richard Layman, 1978, pp. 321-30. Nichols contends that the solution Jake finds to his problems might be called a secularized morality based on the Catholic ideal of asceticism.

O’Sullivan, Sibbie. “Love and Friendship/Man and Woman in The Sun Also Rises.” In Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 44, 1988, pp. 76-97. O’Sullivan proposes that the novel may be read as a story about the cautious belief in the survival of the two most basic components of any human relationship: love and friendship.

Reynolds, Michael S. “The Sun in Its Time: Recovering the Historical Context.” In New Essays on The Sun Also Rises, edited by Linda Wagner-Martin. Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 43-64. Arguing that The Sun Also Rises is “anchored in time," Reynolds places the novel in its historical context.

———. The Sun Also Rises: A Novel of the Twenties. Twayne Publishers, 1988. A book-length study of the themes, characters, and symbolism of the novel.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. “Introduction.” In New Essays on The Sun Also Rises, edited by Linda Wagner-Martin. Cambridge University Press, 1987, pp. 1-18. Wagner-Martin discusses various biographical, historical and textual issues in this introduction to a volume of essays on The Sun Also Rises.

Wilson, Jane E. “Good Old Harris in The Sun Also Rises.” In Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, edited by James Nagel. G. K. Hall & Co., 1995, pp. 185-90. Wilson discusses the fishing trip to Burguete and argues that Jake’s relationship with Harris is the key to understanding the meaning of the episode.


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Aldridge, John W. “The Sun Also Rises: Sixty Years Later.” Sewanee Review 94, no. 2 (Spring, 1986): 337-345. Abundant criticism on Hemingway’s most analyzed novel may overpower rather than enlighten nonspecialist readers. Aldridge, however, succeeds in blending accessibility and scholarship. Discussion of Hemingway’s meticulous language usage, based on the strong presence of things unsaid, is particularly interesting.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.” New York: Chelsea House, 1987. Contains ten essays that Bloom considers to represent the most helpful criticism published on the novel. Authors include Hemingway scholars such as Carlos Baker (Hemingway’s prime biographer), Scott Donaldson, and Linda Wagner-Martin.

The Hemingway Review 6, no. 1 (Fall, 1986): 2-111. This special issue celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of The Sun Also Rises. The nine articles deal with topics as diverse as the original manuscript, Hemingway’s presentation of women and war, the moral axis of the novel, and the word “sun” as title and metaphor.

Reynolds, Michael S. “The Sun Also Rises”: A Novel of the Twenties. Boston: Twayne, 1988. An excellent overall reference accessible to the general reader. Reynolds discusses the novel’s importance and critical reception and considers it from analytic, structural, historical, and thematic perspectives.

Wagner-Martin, Linda, ed. New Essays on “The Sun Also Rises.” Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Designed as a critical guide for students of American history and culture, this volume of five commissioned essays is thought-provoking yet accessible to nonspecialist readers.


Critical Essays