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The Sun Also Rises Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapters 1 through 7 Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sun Also Rises.
This section contains 1,096 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)

Summary

Chapter 1

Chapter 1 of The Sun Also Rises introduces narrator Jake Barnes and his friend Robert Cohn, two expatriates living in Paris. Cohn is described as a former middleweight boxing champion at Princeton who is a member of a wealthy, Jewish family in New York. After an early marriage and divorce, he started a literary magazine that soon failed, then went with his current girlfriend, Frances, to Europe, eventually settling in Paris, where he wrote a bad novel. He now plays bridge and tennis while living off an allowance sent by his mother. When Robert suggests they go out of town to hike, Jake suggests Strasbourg, where he knows an American girl who could show them around, but Robert kicks him under the table and later explains that Frances would not allow that.

Chapter 2

In Chapter 2, Jake reflects that although he has been married twice, Robert has never been in love and that Frances is very possessive of him. Robert has read a book called The Purple Land that has given him romantic ideas. He soon tries to talk Jake into going to South America with him, but Jake insists that going to another country will not enable him to get away from himself. When Jake, who is a journalist, tries to excuse himself to work, Robert tags along and falls asleep, then later reveals that he did not sleep the previous night because he and his wife were talking.

Chapter 3

In Chapter 3, Jake picks up a girl named Georgette Hobin and takes her to dinner, where he reveals that he was injured in the war. At the restaurant, they run into a group of his friends, including Robert, Frances, and the Braddocks. All of them go to a dance club. Georgette is dancing with someone else when a woman named Brett enters with a group of young, gay men, which makes Jake angry. After briefly meeting rising novelist Robert Prentiss, Jake and Brett talk. He points out that Robert Cohn is watching her with interest. Jake and Brett leave in a taxi. She tells him that she has been miserable.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 finds Jake and Brett in the taxi, where they kiss, but she is upset and a little remote. They talk in vague terms about the fact that his war injury has rendered him impotent, although she says she is in love with him. They go to a bar where they meed Count Mippipopolous. When Jakes leaves, Brett stays behind. Back in his apartment, Jake thinks about his injury, which he thinks he should find funny, and begins to cry. Later he is awakened by a row downstairs and finds that a very drunk Brett is there. They talk for a few minutes. Then she leaves and rejoins the count in his car, and Jake watches them drive away, musing that it is easy to be hard-boiled during the day, but nights are harder.

Chapter 5

Chapter 5 opens the following morning. Jake works for a few hours, then goes to a business meeting and later runs into Robert, who questions him about Brett. Jake says she is getting a divorce. She will then marry Mike Campbell. Robert is in love with her anyway and says she will not marry Campbell, but Jake insists she will.

Chapter 6

In Chapter 6, Brett does not meet Jake as scheduled. So, he goes out alone and runs into Harvey Stone, then Robert again. Frances arrives and takes Jake across the street, where she tells him that after three years together, Robert now refuses to marry her so she is going to England. They return to Robert's table, and Frances has a bitter conversation with him until Jake becomes uncomfortable and leaves.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 finds Jake back at his apartment, where Brett arrives with the count. She sends the count out to get champagne. Then, Jake asks her to live with him, but she says it would not work and that she is leaving the following day for San Sebastian. When the count returns, all three go to dinner. Brett and Jake dance and talk about her upcoming marriage. Eventually, Jake and Brett leave. When he drops her at her hotel, they kiss. She says that she is leaving tomorrow and they will not see each other again.

Analysis

The book's first chapters introduce major characters including Jake, Robert, and Brett. It is shortly after the end of World War I when many Americans, especially writers and artists, flocked to Paris because of the city's glitter and the favorable exchange rate. The book's main characters are among those Americans. While Robert and Jake work as writers, they also spend a great deal of time enjoying themselves in the city's cafes, bars, and nightclubs. They can be seen as a somewhat dissipated group -- often called the Lost Generation -- who focus more on drinking and fun than on making a meaningful contribution.

Jake's life has been shaped predominately by three things -- his war experiences, the injury that has left him impotent, and his love for Brett Ashley. The author paints Brett as a member of a new generation of modern women who marry and divorce multiple times, drink copiously, and are open about their sexual needs. Although Brett claims to love Jake and wants to share a life with him, she also makes clear that his impotence makes that impossible because she would be unable to be faithful to him.

The book's first section also begins to introduce the theme of the effects of war. The most obvious example of this is Jake's wound that has rendered him impotent, but he and other characters have been affected in other ways as well, as Hemingway depicts throughout the novel.

Discussion Question 1

Why do you think Brett and Jake realize they do not belong together? Is it more than the wound that has left him impotent?

Discussion Question 2

In what ways does Brett exemplify the "new woman" who emerged at the beginning of the 20th century? How is she different from Frances and Georgette? What about these qualities makes her so attractive to men?

Discussion Question 3

Describe the daily lives of the people depicted in Book 1 of The Sun Also Rises. How are they different from people in other books you have read and/or from people in your own life?

Vocabulary

Counteract, inferiority, overmatch, verify, commence, editorial, sole, exploitation, kiosque, evidently, horizon, rebound, divine, vain, sinister, exalted, ethics, sullen, calamity, tolerant, compatriot, restraint, liaison, illuminate, obligation, arrested, conceit, inconsequential, impulse, platonic, perish, mystic, eccentric, siphon, bilge, obstinate, ostentatious, antiquity.

This section contains 1,096 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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The Sun Also Rises from BookRags. (c) 2013 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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