The Sun Also Rises Chapter 2
Cohn took his novel to America that winter, and it was published. Frances was very angry at his leaving, and when he came back he was not so in love with her. Other women had treated him well in New York, and the man who had been devoted to just two women in his whole life, neither of whom he loved, suddenly realized what a great catch he was. He and his bloated ego returned from New York, and he was no longer the same nice, simple person. He'd taken W.H. Hudson's novel "The Purple Land" as gospel, and his head was full of romantic ideas. He decides that a trip to South America would fix everything, and he asks Jake to come with him. Jake, a newspaper reporter, is trying to finish up his work before deadline. He is not interested in going to South America. Cohn is depressed, afraid that soon he'll be too old for such adventures. He could go without Jake, but he feels unmotivated. Jake jokes with him, but also feels pity. Cohn tells Jake he's afraid his life is passing him by. Jake tells him:
But Cohn isn't interested. He just wants to go to South America. Jake suggests going to Africa to hunt, but Cohn says no. Jake jokes that if Cohn just read a book about hunting in Africa, he'd want to go. But Cohn disagrees. Jake thinks Cohn gets all his ideas out of books.
The two go downstairs for a drink. Jake hopes this will get rid of Cohn, so he can go back upstairs and work. Cohn talks some more about how half their life is over, and Jake tells him:
"'Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn't make any difference. I've tried all that. You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There's nothing to that.'" Chapter 2, pg. 11
But Cohn isn't listening. He doesn't like Paris, and he wants to get away. Jake is frustrated, and tells Cohn he has to go upstairs to work. Instead of leaving, Cohn follows him up to the office. Jake works for a couple hours, and Cohn sleeps on the couch. He has a bad dream, and talks in his sleep. After waking, he tells Jake he didn't sleep at all last night; he was up talking to Frances. Jake cannot help but picture this. The two go out for a drink.