The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights.
The protagonist of The Sun Also Rises is Jake Barnes, an expatriate American journalist living in Paris. Jake suffered a war wound that left him impotent; the nature of his injury is not explicitly described. He is in love with Lady Brett Ashley, a twice-divorced Englishwoman. Brett, with her bobbed hair and numerous love affairs, embodies the new sexual freedom of the 1920s. There are 3 parts in this book.
Part one is set in the café society of Paris. In the opening scenes, Jake plays tennis with his college friend Robert Cohn, picks up a prostitute, Georgette, and runs into Brett and Count Mippipopolous in a nightclub. Later, Brett tells Jake she loves him, but they both know that they have no chance at a stable relationship.
In part two, Jake is joined by Bill Gorton, recently arrived from New York, and Brett's fiancé Mike Campbell, who arrives from Scotland. Jake and Bill travel south and meet Robert Cohn at Bayonne for a fishing trip in the hills northeast of Pamplona. Instead of fishing, Cohn stays in Pamplona to wait for the overdue Brett and Mike. Cohn had an affair with Brett a few weeks earlier and still feels possessive of her despite her engagement to Mike. After Jake and Bill enjoy five days of tranquility fishing the streams near Burguete, they rejoin the group in Pamplona where they begin to drink heavily. Cohn's presence is increasingly resented by the others, who taunt him with anti-Semitic remarks. During the fiesta the characters drink, eat, watch the running of the bulls, attend bullfights, and bicker with each other. Jake introduces Brett to the 19-year-old matador Romero at the Hotel Montoya; she is smitten with him and seduces him. The jealous tension among the men builds—Jake, Campbell, Cohn, and Romero each love Brett. Cohn, who had been a champion boxer in college, has fistfights with Jake, Mike, and Romero, whom he beats up. Despite his injuries, Romero continues to perform brilliantly in the bullring.
Park Three shows the characters in the aftermath of the fiesta. Sober again, they leave Pamplona; Bill returns to Paris, Mike stays in Bayonne, and Jake goes to San Sebastián in northeastern Spain. As Jake is about to return to Paris, he receives a telegram from Brett asking for help; she had gone to Madrid with Romero. He finds her there in a cheap hotel, without money, and without Romero. She announces she has decided to go back to Mike. The novel ends with Jake and Brett in a taxi speaking of the things that might have been.
Analysis of Major Characters
Jake Barnes: The key events in the formation of Jake’s character occur long before the novel’s action begins. As a soldier in World War I, Jake is wounded. Although he does not say so directly, there are numerous moments in the novel when he implies that, as a result of his injury, he has lost the ability to have sex. Jake’s narration is characterized by subtlety and implication. He prefers to hint at things rather than state them outright, especially when they concern the war or his injury. Early in the novel, for example one must read the text very closely to grasp the true nature of Jake’s wound; it is only later, when Jake goes fishing with Bill that he speaks more openly about his impotence.
Jake’s physical malady has profound psychological consequences. He seems quite insecure about his masculinity. The fact that Brett, the love of his life, refuses to enter into a relationship with him compounds this problem. Jake, with typical subtlety, suggests that she does not want to because it would mean giving up sexual intercourse. Jake’s hostility toward Robert Cohn is perhaps rooted in his own feelings of inadequacy. In…