Topics for Discussion
1. Describe Brett's relationships with Jake, Mike Campbell, Robert Cohn, and Pedro Romero. Do you think she treats men badly?
2. Robert Cohn, a former collegiate boxing champion, beats up Romero when he finds him with Brett. What does Brett think about Cohn after this incident? What does she think about Romero, and why does she decide to avoid further romantic involvement with him?
3. Hemingway regards the bullfight as a religious experience of sorts. Why? What are some of the similarities between religious ritual and bullfighting ritual?
4. Compare Hemingway's descriptions of Paris, the Basque countryside, and Pamplona. How do the different landscapes reflect the characters' actions and emotions?
5. At the end of the novel, Jake and Brett see the sights of Madrid from a taxi. How is this characteristic of their relationship? What does it suggest about the fate of their generation?
6. Jake drinks a great deal of alcohol. Discuss the ways in which alcohol serves as a destructive force or an escape from reality, and the ways in which it serves as a medium for communion with nature. Analyze the last two pages of the novel in this regard.