The Sun Also Rises

Jake Barnes Character Analysis

The narrator of The Sun Also Rises. At the start of the novel, he is an expatriate working as a journalist in Paris. He served in World War I, in which he suffered an injury that made him impotent. This hinders his otherwise very close relationship with Brett Ashley. He typifies the Lost Generation, always seeking escape and finding no meaning in life after the horrors and intensity of the war.

Jake Barnes Quotes in The Sun Also Rises

The The Sun Also Rises quotes below are all either spoken by Jake Barnes or refer to Jake Barnes. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of The Sun Also Rises published in 1954.
Chapter 1 Quotes
I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together, and I always had a suspicion that perhaps Robert Cohn had never been middleweight boxing champion. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Robert Cohn
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2 Quotes
"I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it."
"Nobody ever lives life all the way up except bull-fighters"
Cohn and Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Robert Cohn (speaker)
Related Symbols: Bullfighting
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

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"You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. " – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Robert Cohn
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3 Quotes
"Who are your friends?" Georgette asked.
"Writers and artists."
"There are lots of those on this side of the river."
"Too many."
Georgette and Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Georgette (speaker)
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4 Quotes
I passed Ney's statue standing among the new-leaved chetnut trees in the arc-light. […] He looked very fine, Marshal Ney in his top-boots, gesturing with his sword among the green new horse-chetnut leaves. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker)
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

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It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night is another thing. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker)
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes
I have never seen a man in civil life as nervous as Robert Cohn – nor as eager. I was enjoying it. It was lousy to enjoy it, but I felt lousy. Cohn had a wonderful quality of bringing out the worst in anybody. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Robert Cohn
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes
"You're an expatriate. You've lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see. You hang around cafés."– Bill
Related Characters: Bill Gorton (speaker), Jake Barnes
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 13 Quotes
Those who were aficionados could always get rooms even when the hotel was full. Montoya introduced me to some of them. They were always very polite at first, and it amused them very much that I should be American. Somehow it was taken for granted that an American could not have aficion. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Montoya
Related Symbols: Bullfighting
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:

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It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Robert Cohn, Lady Brett Ashley, Bill Gorton, Mike Campbell
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes
That was morality; things that made you disgusted afterward. No, that must be immorality. That was a large statement. What a lot of bilge I could think up at night. What rot, I could hear Brett say it. What rot! – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Lady Brett Ashley
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 15 Quotes
At noon on Sunday, July 6th, the fiesta exploded. There was no other way to describe it. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker)
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

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The things that happened could only have happened during a fiesta. Everything became quite unreal finally and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker)
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

L

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Chapter 18 Quotes
"Well, it was a swell fiesta."
"Yes," I said; "something doing all the time."
"You wouldn't believe it. It's like a wonderful nightmare."
"Sure," I said. "I'd believe anything. Including nightmares."
Bill and Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Bill Gorton (speaker)
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 19 Quotes
I hated to leave France. Life was so simple in France. I felt I was a fool to be going back to Spain. In Spain you could not tell about anything. – Jake
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker)
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Oh, Jake,' Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together." Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me.
"Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
Related Characters: Jake Barnes (speaker), Lady Brett Ashley (speaker)
Page Number: 250
Explanation and Analysis:

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Jake Barnes Character Timeline in The Sun Also Rises

The timeline below shows where the character Jake Barnes appears in The Sun Also Rises. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Sport Theme Icon
Masculinity and Insecurity Theme Icon
The narrator, Jake Barnes, describes Robert Cohn, who was a middleweight boxing champion in college at Princeton University.... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
Jake comments that he naturally distrusts anyone who seems as simple and honest as Cohn, but... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...on an allowance from his mother and has two friends: Braddock, his literary friend, and Jake, with whom he plays tennis. Cohn is "fairly happy," except that like many other people... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...looks and shifts from treating Cohn carelessly to trying to get him to marry her. Jake notices this change in Frances when, one night, Jake, Cohn, and Frances go out to... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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Later, Cohn walks Jake out of the café and scolds Jake for making Frances jealous. Any mention of any... (full context)
Chapter 2
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...book called The Purple Land, a romantic tale about an English gentleman traveling abroad, which Jake says is a dangerous text to take seriously too late in life. Cohn is doing... (full context)
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Jake realizes how affected Cohn has been by the book when Cohn comes to Jake's office... (full context)
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Jake suggests they have a drink, intending to then leave Cohn in the bar and come... (full context)
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Jake excuses himself to return to his office. Cohn asks to come and sit with him.... (full context)
Chapter 3
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After Cohn leaves, Jake goes by himself to a café and watches the crowds. He is interested by the... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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The girl asks if Jake is going to buy her dinner. When she smiles, Jake sees that she has bad... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...cab moves through the streets, the girl uses the opportunity to make sexual overtures to Jake, but he rejects them. She asks if he's sick. He says that he is, and... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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Georgette dislikes the restaurant they arrive at and Jake remembers how dull poules can be. Georgette cheers up when she sees the food and... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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Jake's friends ask him to come dancing with them. Jake returns to Georgette and describes his... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...to fill up and soon becomes hot and sweaty. While Georgette is asked to dance, Jake stands at the club door, feeling the breeze and watching a group of men arrive... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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...her as if for a dare. These men, who are "supposed to be amusing", annoy Jake. He walks to the club next door to get a drink, but the drink tastes... (full context)
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Jake sits at a table with his friends and meets a novelist called Robert Prentiss. Jake... (full context)
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Brett walks over to Jake. As they greet each other, Jake notices Cohn looking at the "damned good-looking" Brett, as... (full context)
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Brett suggests she and Jake go to a different club. Jake leaves fifty francs in an envelope at the bar... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Brett and Jake's cab winds through the streets of Paris. As they pass the lights of bars and... (full context)
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In the dark, they kiss, but Brett pulls away, begging Jake to understand. Jake asks if she loves him and she "turns all to jelly." But... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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They talk about how injuries like Jake's are supposed to be funny, but how "nobody knows anything." Jake says he rarely thinks... (full context)
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...her to a man named Count Mippipopolous, who has taken a liking to her. Meanwhile, Jake talks with Braddocks, but all Jake wants to do is go home. When he says... (full context)
The Lost Generation Theme Icon
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On the way, Jake passes a statue of a soldier, Marshal Ney, which he thinks looks "very fine." When... (full context)
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Jake goes to bed and reads through two bullfighting newspapers. He then turns out the lamp,... (full context)
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Loud noises outside his room wake Jake in the middle of the night. Downstairs, he finds the concierge dealing with a drunken... (full context)
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Jake agrees to go for the drive, but refuses to get dressed and come down to... (full context)
Chapter 5
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The next morning, Jake walks to work, watching the women selling flowers, students going to class, and the trams... (full context)
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Jake works through the morning at his office, then goes to a meeting with other newsmen... (full context)
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In his office, Jake finds Cohn waiting for him. Cohn asks Jake to lunch. At the restaurant, Jake asks... (full context)
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Cohn then asks Jake about Lady Brett Ashley. Jake tells him what he knows: that she's getting a divorce... (full context)
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Cohn accuses Jake of sounding bitter, and. Jake tells Cohn to go to hell. Cohn stands up from... (full context)
Chapter 6
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That night, Jake goes to meet Brett at a hotel. She stands him up. After looking around for... (full context)
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The taxi comes to a certain boulevard that Jake always finds "dull riding." Jake thinks that it must be some "association of ideas" that... (full context)
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...Select, he finds a friend of his, Harvey Stone, who says he's been looking for Jake. Jake asks him about the States, but Harvey says he's heard nothing and is "through... (full context)
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...the face one day. Harvey says it doesn't matter, that Cohn means nothing to him. Jake tries to offer him another drink but Harvey leaves. (full context)
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Cohn says his writing isn't going very well, that it's harder than the first time. Jake, as narrator, comments that until Cohn fell in love with Brett, he was good at... (full context)
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Frances arrives, and asks to speak privately with Jake. When they're alone, she tells Jake that Cohn has refused to marry her, saying that... (full context)
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Back with Cohn, Frances, with obviously sarcastic cheerfulness, tells Jake that Cohn has given her two hundred francs and is sending her to England in... (full context)
Chapter 7
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When Jake gets back to his flat, he learns from the concierge that Brett and the count... (full context)
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Jake asks Brett about standing him up. She claims she didn't remember because she was drunk,... (full context)
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Alone now, Jake asks if they can't just live together, or go to the country. Brett responds that... (full context)
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...Joking leads to enemies. Brett responds that the only person she never jokes with is Jake. Then she turns to drinking again. The count wishes he could hear her talk instead... (full context)
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They enjoy a good meal, during which the count tells Jake and Brett that they should get married. The two of them respond with quick, evasive... (full context)
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...three of them continue the night at a dancing club. The count tells Brett and Jake how nice they look dancing, saying he doesn't dance himself but enjoys watching them. While... (full context)
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Jake takes Brett home, while the count prefers to stay a little longer at the club.... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Jake doesn't see Brett or Cohn for a good long while. He receives one brief, appropriately... (full context)
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As they walk around Paris looking for a restaurant, Bill tells Jake about a man he was drinking with earlier in the day whose secret is never... (full context)
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...she's just back from San Sebastian and that Mike is following later in the day. Jake insists they all meet that night. Brett says she was an ass to leave and... (full context)
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Bill and Jake eat dinner at a restaurant that's full of Americans, mainly because it has a review... (full context)
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Before going to meet Brett and Mike, Jake and Bill go for a walk. They cross the Seine and see Notre Dame cathedral... (full context)
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When Jake and Bill get to the bar, Brett introduces Mike as a drunkard. Mike is, in... (full context)
Chapter 9
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The next morning, Jake gets a telegraph from Cohn, who says he's in the country having a quiet time,... (full context)
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That night, Jake runs into Brett and Mike at a bar. Mike apologizes for his drunkenness the evening... (full context)
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Once they're alone, Brett asks Jake if Cohn is coming on the trip. When she learns that he is, she worries... (full context)
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Four days later, Brett tells Jake that she's heard back from Cohn, who wants to come even though he knows that... (full context)
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Jake and Bill board the train to Bayonne the next morning. The train is very crowded,... (full context)
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As the train moves, Bill and Jake "watch the country" through the window. The fields are ripening and green. After a while... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...for a beer. As the sit outside, there is a pleasant breeze from the sea. Jake doesn't feel like leaving, but they sort out the money for the rooms. While they... (full context)
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...so the men go to a stream nearby to check for trout while they wait. Jake asks a soldier manning the crossing if he ever fishes, but he says he doesn't.... (full context)
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The chauffeur returns and they drive on, through the country that Jake describes as "really Spain," with forests, plains and clear streams. Jake spots an old castle... (full context)
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...tries to cancel one of the meat courses. He seems nervous, and doesn't know that Jake knows about his trip with Brett. Cohn says, with a superior tone, that he doesn't... (full context)
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After the meal, Jake visits the old man who always gets bullfight tickets for him and is pleased to... (full context)
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Jake goes walking and comes across a cathedral. Though he found it ugly the first time... (full context)
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...on the train, and Cohn wants to go to the station to see them in. Jake goes with him. He enjoys Cohn's mood, even though he knows it's lousy of him... (full context)
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...him to forget the bet. He'd rather bet on something else, like the bullfights. But Jake says to bet on bullfights would be like betting on the war. Economic gain means... (full context)
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That night they get a card from Brett, saying they've stopped in San Sebastian. Jake, jealous and angry, spitefully tells Cohn that they send their regards. The men decide to... (full context)
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...that he has decided he won't leave with them. In a confidential tone, he tells Jake that he is afraid that he gave Brett the impression that he would meet them... (full context)
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...hotel, Bill says that Cohn told him all about the date with Brett, which makes Jake angry. Bill comments that the funny thing about Cohn is that he may be awful... (full context)
Chapter 11
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The next morning, Jake and Bill leave Cohn behind and board a bus to go to a small rural... (full context)
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...drives through the beautiful country of fields, farms, and "sudden green valleys," the Basques teach Jake and Bill the right way to drink from a wineskin. The bus stops in a... (full context)
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...before sitting back, tired from talking "American." The bus climbs and climbs into the hills. Jake describes the landscape here as looking strange. (full context)
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...to order a rum punch and tell the serving girl how to make it, though Jake has to add more rum when it arrives with not enough. They have hot soup... (full context)
Chapter 12
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The next morning, Jake wakes before Bill and goes outside, into the fresh early morning, finds a shed and... (full context)
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Back in the room, Bill says he saw Jake from the window and asks if he was burying his money. Bill then launches into... (full context)
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Bill announces that he is more fond of Jake than he is of anyone else in the world. This is the kind of thing,... (full context)
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...spring of water for their wine bottles. Then they split up and begin to fish. Jake fishes with worms. He is mesmerized by the number of leaping trout he sees. He... (full context)
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...agree that they are drunk and decide to nap. As they wind down, Bill asks Jake if he was ever in love with Brett. Jake admits that he was, and Bill... (full context)
Chapter 13
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One morning at breakfast, Jake gets a letter from Mike saying that Brett fainted on the train, they spent three... (full context)
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Jake realizes he doesn't know what day it is. Harris tells him it's Wednesday. Later that... (full context)
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Before departing, Jake and Bill go to a pub with Harris. They invite him to come to Pamplona... (full context)
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...already arrived at Montoya's hotel. It's clear that Montoya does not think much of them. Jake and Montoya begin to talk about the bulls. Montoya calls Jake an aficion, which is... (full context)
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Jake and Bill find the others at a bar across the square. Mike and Brett are... (full context)
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...furious and muscles quivering. Steers (castrated males) mill around to help calms the bulls. As Jake explains to Brett how the bull uses his horns like a boxer, another bull is... (full context)
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Back at the hotel, Montoya and Jake agree that the bulls looked all right but that they have a bad feeling about... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Jake is very drunk when he gets back to his room. As he tries and fails... (full context)
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Jake then starts thinking about morality and about Mike's insults of Cohn. He feels bad for... (full context)
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...mornings of those quiet two days, they all keep their own time, Cohn getting shaves, Jake taking walks, all meeting up for drinks. On the day before the fiesta, Jake goes... (full context)
Chapter 15
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The next day the fiesta explodes. Jake explains that there's no other word for it. The prices of everything go up, crowds... (full context)
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A rocket, which Jake compares to a burst of shrapnel, is set off to mark the off the official... (full context)
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Jake goes to find leather wineskins, and the shop owner sells them to him for cheap... (full context)
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...big meal. The restaurant is all changed for the fiesta, with new prices and menus. Jake has vowed to stay up all night to see the bulls go through the streets... (full context)
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The bullfights begin that afternoon. Jake and Bill sit close to the action, while Brett, Mike and Cohn sit further up... (full context)
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Montoya introduces them to a nineteen-year-old phenom of a bullfighter named Pedro Romero. Jake thinks that Romero is the best looking boy he's ever seen. During his bullfight, Romero... (full context)
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During Romero's next bullfight, Brett sits next to Jake, who explains Romero's skill to her move by move. He shows her how Romero turns... (full context)
Chapter 16
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The next day is rainy, foggy, and dull. Jake is in his room when Montoya enters and asks for some advice – Romero has... (full context)
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Jake finds his friends eating dinner. They are too drunk now for him to catch up,... (full context)
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Brett and Mike shout to Jake from across the room. Mike wants him to tell Romero that "bulls have no balls,"... (full context)
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...at him to go away, begging him to see when he isn't wanted, and asking Jake to back him up in his assessment of Cohn. Mike and Cohn are on the... (full context)
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...but she snaps at him to get going because she wants to talk alone with Jake. (full context)
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When they're alone, Brett complains to Jake about Mike and Cohn's behaviors, both of which she finds disgusting. Jake defends Mike, saying... (full context)
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Brett and Jake take a walk to the old fortifications around the town. Brett asks Jake if he... (full context)
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Jake agrees to help, and they go to a café where Romero is sitting with other... (full context)
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Jake leaves Brett and Romero at the table, and as he does so he notices that... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Jake finds Bill, Mike and Bill's friend Edna hanging around outside a bar that they were... (full context)
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...go to another café, where Cohn finds them. He demands to know where Brett is. Jake claims not to know, but Cohn doesn't believe him. Mike says that Brett has gone... (full context)
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When Jake comes to, he is surrounded by people tugging at him, like a boxer on the... (full context)
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When Jake gets in to the hotel, Bill tells him that Cohn wants to see him. Jake... (full context)
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The next morning, Jake learns from a waiter at a café that Mike and Bill have already gone to... (full context)
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Back in the hotel, as Jake tries and fails to sleep, he curses Cohn for believing in true love. Then Mike... (full context)
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Mike heads off to bed, and Bill soon follows. As Bill is leaving, Jake asks if Bill has heard about the man who was gored outside the bullring He... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Brett and Jake take a walk. Soon, they see a chapel and Brett wants to go in and... (full context)
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After the bullfights, Jake and Bill have lunch at the hotel. Jake is feeling sad, and gives in to... (full context)
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Later on, a very drunk Jake goes to Brett's room. There he finds Mike, who tells him that Brett has left... (full context)
Chapter 19
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In the quiet of the sudden end of the fiesta, Mike, Bill, and Jake decide to share a cab to leave Pamplona. Montoya does not say goodbye. Soon they... (full context)
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...hotel, where he tells them not to worry about money, and Bill catches his train. Jake watches the train leave, then goes back to the car. The driver tries to over-charge... (full context)
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Alone in Bayonne, Jake eats alone, enjoying choosing wine and drinking slowly. He worries, however, that he has offended... (full context)
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In San Sebastian, Jake rests, goes swimming, sits in the sun, and walks around the harbor. He has dinner... (full context)
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The next day Jake gets a telegram from Brett, saying she is in trouble, followed quickly by another, asking... (full context)
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...Brett's hotel, she kisses him. She explains that she sent Romero away, but wrote to Jake because she wasn't sure if she could actually get him to leave and had no... (full context)
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Jake and Brett go to lunch. Brett has a drink, which steadies her. She says she's... (full context)
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Jake suggests they go for a ride and they get a taxi and sit close together... (full context)