Chapter 16 Notes from The Sun Also Rises

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The Sun Also Rises Chapter 16

There is rain this morning. Foggy and gloomy, the bull-fights are canceled for the day, and the fiesta moves inside. Jake is shaving in his room when Montoya knocks. The American ambassador had phoned Montoya, and wanted Romero and another bull-fighter, Marcial Lalanda, to come over for dinner. Marcial is out of town, so Romero would have to go alone. Montoya is worried about Romero; he wants this wonderful bull-fighter to stay away from any bad influences. Too much partying could hurt his performance. Montoya trusts and respects Jake, so he asks his opinion. Jake tells Montoya not to give Romero the message, and Montoya is very pleased with this answer. He has seen other bull-fighters overindulge, and he doesn't want that to happen to Romero. He's too special.

After Montoya leaves Jake goes for a short walk around the square. It is still raining. He looks for the others, and finds them eating dinner in the hotel. They are all extremely drunk, and Bill is buying shoe-shines for Mike. Jake has some wine, but feels out of place being so sober. He sees Pedro Romero at the next table. Romero asks Jake to join him and his friend, a bull-fight critic. Romero knows some English, and he and Jake start to talk. Romero wants to know the English word for Corrida de toros, which translates poorly into bull-fight. Romero asks Jake how many times he's seen him fight, and Jake mistakenly answers three. Not wanting to explain, Jake has to lie a little. Romero is straightforward about his performance, but never conceited. The critic is excited to see Romero fight tomorrow; he doesn't feel like he's seen all that Romero can do. Romero asks Jake how the bulls for tomorrow look. They are good, he says. The critic complains that their horns are too small, but Romero, who will be inches from them, doesn't think so.

Brett calls to Jake from the next table. Mike, drunk and jealous, yells to Jake: "'Tell him that bulls have no balls.'" Chapter 16, 175 Actually it is steers that are castrated. Jake, impotent himself, tries to ignore Mike. Brett, intrigued by Romero, wants to be introduced. Jake's friends join him at Romero's table. Bill wants Jake to tell Romero he's ashamed to be a writer; Jake just passes on the writer part. Romero asks what Mike does, and Jake tells him he gets drunk, and he waits to marry Brett. Mike yells out again about castrated bulls. Jake tells him to be quiet. Mike is very drunk, and his jealousy is making him behave badly. Jake is calm. Brett and Romero are deep in conversation. Jake sees Montoya come in, and when he sees the drunken company Romero is keeping, and Jake at the table, he walks by and ignores Jake. Jake, who had earlier conspired with Montoya to keep Romero safe, now has him surrounded by drunks and a loose woman. Montoya's respect for him is gone.

Mike wants to make a toast, and Jake cuts him off to avoid a scene. Then Mike starts tearing into Cohn. Mike and Cohn almost have a fist fight, but Jake separates them. Mike and Jake walk into the square. Soon Brett and Bill join them, and they watch the fireworks king try to get his creations up in the wet weather. He doesn't have much luck.

Topic Tracking: Anti-Semitism 9

They go looking for a drink. Edna, an English friend of Bill's from Biarritz, has joined the group. Mike starts flirting with Edna, hoping to make Brett jealous. She's just disgusted. Bill, Mike, and Edna go off, leaving Brett, Jake, and Cohn. Brett is rude to Cohn so he will leave. Brett complains about Cohn's behavior. She says Jake would never act like that. Jake says no; and he comments on how hard it's been for Mike to see her with Cohn. It hasn't been easy for him either, but he doesn't tell her that. Brett likes that Jake does not seem to suffer. As they walk through town they notice Cohn is following them. Brett tells Jake: "'I hate him, too....I hate his damned suffering.'" Chapter 16, pg. 182

Topic Tracking: Gender 13

Brett asks Jake if he still loves her; he does. Brett believes she is falling in love with Romero. Jake tells her not to, it won't have a good end. Brett feels terrible. She asks Jake:

""Oh, darling, please stay by me. Please stay by me and see me through this....I don't say it's right. It is right though for me. God knows, I've never felt such a bitch.'" Chapter 16, pg. 184

Jake can't refuse. He loves her, so he gives her what she wants--he takes her to Romero.

Topic Tracking: Anti-Semitism 10
Topic Tracking: Values 17

They find Romero, and there is a definite chemistry between him and Brett. She reads his fortune, holding his hand in hers. After some more conversation, Jake gets up to leave. Romero looks at Jake to see if this is okay. And when Jake returns twenty minutes later, they are gone. All Jake can allow himself to think is: "It was not pleasant." Chapter 16, pg. 187

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