The Sun Also Rises
is a 1926 novel by Ernest Hemingway
Jake Barnes, American veteran of World War I
, drifts around Paris, meeting random people and disillusioned with the world around him. He is in love with the lady Brett Ashley, but then so is everyone else
. He is also followed around by Robert Cohn, a Jew with a chip on his shoulder and a weak personality. Jake learns that Cohn is infatuated with Brett and that she slept with him. Jake goes fishing with his friend Bill Gorton in Burguete, and then rejoins Cohn, Brett and Brett's fiancÚ Mike Campbell in Pamplona for the annual Running of the Bulls. Brett seduces an up-and-coming bullfighter, the 19-year-old Pedro Romero, whose genuine skill
puts the others to shame. Cohn gets pissed off, beats up Mike and Jake, and then Romero, and then flees the country. Romero, despite having gotten quite beat up, fights flawlessly in the ring, and then scampers off to Madrid with Brett. Soon, however, Brett telegrams Jake and asks him to retrieve her, as she has forced Romero to dump her for fear of ruining him. Brett sighs regretfully that she and Jake would've been so good together, and Jake replies—with just a tinge of cynicism
—that it's nice to think so. The end.
Encapsulated the experience of the "Lost Generation," who had seen The Edwardian Era
get mowed down in droves
by the Great War. Jake in particular carries the Symbolism Ball: he sustained an injury in the war that makes him unable to boner
, representing pre-war masculinity being out of place
in this new World Half Empty
. Cohn, on the other hand, still clings to those old values, which is why nobody likes him
. Meanwhile, Brett, whose sexually liberated
exterior hides a history
of Domestic Abuse
, furthers the emasculation imagery as a Femme Fatale
who uses sex to protect herself... But maybe we're starting to read too much into this. Ask the Hemingway scholars
if we are.
Not to be confused with Something Else Also Rises
. Especially given Jake's injury.
Tropes in this work include:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Cohn to Brett
- The Alcoholic: Basically everyone, but Mike Campbell gets special mention.
- All Women Are Lustful: Ohh, Brett.
- A Real Man Is a Killer
- Author Avatar: Jake is basically Hemingway
- Badass: Robert Cohn
- Beastly Bloodsports
- Bittersweet Ending
- Butt Monkey: Robert Cohn, the Jewish non-veteran. Jake makes fun of him, Brett despises him, Mike yells at him.
- Christmas Cake: Subverted with Brett — although she is not married, she does not obsess about settling down, and she does have a fiance. Played straight with Frances.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Frances, Robert Cohn's current romantic entanglement.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Cohn aspires to this. Nobody lets him.
- Dysfunction Junction
- Everyone Can See It: Jake and Brett.
- The Flapper: Brett
- Foreshadowing: The first sentence of the book alludes to Robert Cohn's boxing prowess.
- Full-Name Basis: Robert Cohn
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Brett
- Henpecked Husband: Cohn.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Cohn.
- In Harmony with Nature: Bill and Jake seem pretty serene when they go fishing (Jake more so than Bill).
- The Insomniac: Jake
- Incompatible Orientation: Brett and Jake. She loves sex. He's impotent.
- Inspired By: Quite a few details were taken from Hemingway's own life.
- Likes Older Women: Romero, with Brett.
- Literary Allusion Title: The Sun Also Rises derives its name from The Bible.
- The Loins Sleep Tonight: Jake is incapable of performing, though not of desire. No other details are given.
- Love Makes You Evil: Jake is constantly willing to throw everything out the window to support Brett's whims.
- Manchild: Robert Cohn.
- Mrs. Robinson: Brett is 34, Romero is 19.
- Random Events Plot: The book is really more about a lifestyle than a story.
- Really Gets Around: Brett
- The Roaring Twenties: The whole novel takes place in a few weeks of June and July 1924. It is also one of the defining novels of the Lost Generation.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Cohn and everyone else, respectively. Yes, even Brett.
- A Shared Suffering: Pretty much the reason the group of expatriates stick together— they've all experienced in one way or another the horrors of World War I.
- Sleeps with Everyone but You: Brett to Jake. Enforced Trope, since she would like to but he, you know, can't.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Jake and Brett.
- Write Who You Know: Nearly everyone in the novel is based off of Hemingway's friends at the time.