Illustration of a bull and a bullfighter

The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1250

Book I Chapter 1 1. Describe Robert’s experiences with women. Why was he devastated by his divorce? How has Frances affected his life? How has their relationship changed? Why? How does this prepare the way for Robert’s relationship with Brett?

2. Explain why Hemingway begins the novel with this chapter. Why is Cohn important enough to describe in detail? What clues does Jake give the reader to his negative feelings toward Robert?

Chapter 2 1. Compare Jake’s and Robert’s views of life. Why does Robert think South America will cure his dissatisfaction? How have Robert’s interests and goals been developed? Jake’s?

2. Discuss this quotation: “Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.” How does this foreshadow Jake’s afición values? Why does Jake feel life must be lived to the fullest? How does the “lost generation” fit into this attitude?

Chapter 3 1. Show Paris as a wasteland. How are perversions of love demonstrated? How does Georgette fit into this? What is the significance of Jake’s anger in the dancing club?

2. Explain Georgette’s comment, “Everybody’s sick.” How is this a statement on society? How does Jake’s injury represent society? Are there other “sick” characters in the novel?

Chapter 4 1. Explain Brett’s quote, “Don’t we pay for all the things we do . . . ? Why does Brett feel she is being punished? How? To what extent are the wounds the result of external forces?

2. How does Jake deal with his impotence? How do other people see it? Explain the quotation, “You, a foreigner . . . have given more than your life.” Does Jake agree? How is his impotence relevant to society’s?

Chapters 5-6 1. Describe the relationship between Frances and Robert. How does Frances feel his leaving her demonstrates the aspect of his character of seeking adventures through books? Why doesn’t Robert defend himself? How was their relationship developed through his insecurities?

2. Contrast the normal people presented in the reading with Jake’s Paris friends. How are Krum and Woolsey different from Jake’s other friends? Why does Jake walk to work? How do the characters presented as normal working people contrast to Harvey Stone? Frances?

Chapter 7 1. Describe Count Mippipopolous. What things does he value? What do all those things have in common? How does he represent the “lost generation”?

2. Explain Brett’s statement, “You haven’t any values. You’re dead, that’s all.” How does this describe Paris as a wasteland in Book I? How does this relate to the count? Jake? Herself?

Book II Chapter 8 1. Relate the incident with racial prejudice in Vienna. Why does Bill remember this so vividly? Why does Brett compare Vienna to Paris? How does she feel about this? Bill?

2. Contrast Mike and Bill. How do they each handle alcohol? What is the difference between their finances? What are their topics of conversation (i.e., prejudice in Vienna vs. Brett’s hat)?

Chapter 9 1. How does Brett’s revelation about San Sebastian affect Jake? Why had she gone? What does this tell about Brett? How does this drive a deeper wedge between Robert and Jake?

2. Describe the scenes on the train. How does the “pilgrimage to Rome” of the Catholics on the train parallel to the pilgrimage of Jake, Bill, and Robert? What are they looking for? What is the relationship of Jake to the Catholic church?

Chapters 10-11 1. Compare Bill and Jake’s comments on surroundings with Cohn’s for appropriateness. How is this indicative of the way Robert and Jake approach life? How does this impact the deterioration of Jake and Robert’s relationship?


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Contrast France and Spain. How does each represent a difference in values? What do the churches that are described have to do with those values? How does Jake’s statement, “I only wish I felt religious and maybe I would the next time” fit this?

Chapter 12 1. Comment on Bill’s feelings about expatriates who lose “touch with the soil . . . drink yourself to death . . . become obsessed by sex . . . spend all your time talking, not working.” How does this describe Jake or his friends? Jakes’s attitude? Why is this good or bad?

2. Show how Bill and Jake’s fishing trip is similar to a religious experience? How does the wine drinking resemble communion? How does Bill’s observation “Our stay on earth is not long. Let us rejoice and believe and give thanks” relate? What does this have to do with the theme?

Chapter 13 1. Discuss afición. How does Montoya treat aficións differently? How does this relate to Jake? Montoya? Bill?

2. What is the difference between bulls and steers? What does this conversation represent in the values and characters of the people of Hemingway’s time? In Jake’s group, who are bulls and who are steers?

3. Tell Mike’s story of the medals. What does this demonstrate about his character? How is this incident representative of the “lost generation”?

Chapters 14-15 1. Explain Jake’s statement, “Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth and knowing when you had it.” What is “it”? Why is Jake more interested in how to live rather than why? Where does Jake’s relationship with Robert fit into this?

2. Show Romero as a Christ figure. What are the circumstances when the reader first sees him? Explain the quote, “The others can’t ever learn what he was born with.” How does this fit the religious reference?

Chapter 16 1. Describe the setting up of Brett and Romero’s affair. What is the significance of it? Tell why Jake’s role in the affair violated his code. Discuss Robert’s charge that Jake is a “pimp.”

2. Explain why Montoya wants to protect Romero. How does he do that? How does Jake react to the invitation from the American ambassador? How does his involvement with Brett and Pedro contradict this? How does Montoya react?

Chapter 17 1. Describe Robert’s fights for Brett. How does this relate to Robert’s experiencing life through books? Why is Robert the loser though he badly beat Jake? Romero?

2. Describe Jake’s awakening after Robert calls him a “pimp” and hits him. Why is the statement the truth? How does his walk show renewed sensations about life? What does the bath represent?

3. Explain the quote, “All for sport. All for pleasure.” How does this relate to bullfighting? Relationships? The “lost generation”? Jake?

Chapter 18 1. Describe the ceremony before and during the final bullfight. Why does Romero wait to kill the bull? What are examples of the tradition involved? Compare Romero’s final fight with his fight with Robert.

2. Compare and contrast the three bullfighters. Why does Romero’s attention to the old style make him more skillful? Why does Belmonte think “Pedro had the greatness”? Do their styles suggest other characters in the novel?

Book III Chapter 19 1. Compare the bullfighters and bike racers. What is meant by, “They did not take the race seriously except among themselves.” How does his relate to the “lost generation”?

2. Give reasons for Brett and Romero’s breakup. How does this show growth for Brett? What does the quote, “It’s sort of what we have instead of God,” mean?

3. Explain Jake’s comment, “Send a girl off with one man. Introduce her to another to go off with him. Now go and bring her back. And sign the wire with love. That was it all right.” How does this relate to the final quote: “Isn’t it pretty to think so.” Does this show growth for Jake? What does it mean?


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