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The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

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Can you write a missing scene from The Sun Also Rises in Hemingway’s style?

Quick answer:

There are lots of “missing scenes” in The Sun Also Rises. The author could select one that is missing, either by describing it directly or if the character involved was willing to tell his story. The most obvious choice would be Brett’s trip to San Sebastian, described but not actually seen by Jake. It might be fun to accurately describe it as she would have told it and then try to imagine what Jake’s reaction might have been. The fight between Romero and Robert might also be a good choice.

Expert Answers

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There are numerous distinctive stylistic elements that are either characteristic of Ernest Hemingway’s style overall or distinctive to this novel. Hemingway became famous for a minimalist style with short sentences and large amounts of dialogue. As many have noted, it is deceptively simple, which makes it notoriously hard to imitate well (although easy to parody).

In terms of characterization, although the actions often seem realistic, he rarely probes deeply into their psychology. In The Sun Also Rises, Jacob Barnes is the first-person narrator. While this perspective gives more insight into the character telling the story, it limits the amount of information that is provided. In selecting an additional scene, it would have to be something that Jake observed, that was reported to him, or perhaps that he read, like in a newspaper.

One scene that is referred to but is not part of the action is Brett’s trip to San Sebastian (chapters 7–8). When Jake asks her about it, she is vague. What might be accomplished if she had provided him with more information? Such a scene could include her narrative about the events there and a conversation between her and Jake.

Another scene that occurs “offstage” is Robert’s fight with Romero over Brett (chapter 17). Mike and Bill, who were present, tell Jake about the fight. This scene could be effectively described by Robert, who was directly involved.

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