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The Sun Also Rises - Chapters 15 through 17 Summary & Analysis

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 860 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)

Summary

Chapter 15

The fiesta begins in Chapter 15 and at the end of the parade. The group is swept into a wine shop where they drink heavily with other patrons. Jake buys some leather wine bags for Bill and himself, but Robert misses much of the excitement because he has passed out. The others stay up all night, but Jake goes to sleep and is awakened early in the morning by the horn that starts the running of the bulls, which he watches from the hotel balcony while the others go to the bullring. Later, after everyone has slept a bit, Montoya takes Bill and Jake to meet young matador Pedro Romero. When the bullfights start, Romero proves to be an excellent matador and Brett, in particular, is fascinated by him, causing Mike to jokingly remark that she is falling in love with him. Everyone enjoys the fights, but Mike goads Robert because he was a bit bothered by the gore.

Chapter 16

In Chapter 16, the bullfights are postponed because of heavy rain, but the festival goes on. Jake arrives late for dinner that night and is a little uncomfortable because everyone is already very drunk. Romero is at the next table with a bullfighting critic, and he invites Jake to join them. Then, Jake introduces the matador to his friends. After Romero leaves, a very drunk Mike begins berating Robert. After a near fight, everyone walks through the fiesta, and Mike goes off with Bill and a female friend of his. Brett sends Robert away so she can talk with Jake. She tells him that she thinks she is in love with Romero and cannot help herself. They return to the hotel restaurant, and Romero joins them at a table. After a few minutes Jake excuses himself. When he returns a short time later, Brett and Romero are gone.

In Chapter 17, Jake finds Bill, Mike, and Bill's friend, whose name is Edna, outside a bar they have been thrown out of because the men are so drunk. They have just sat down at another cafe when Robert approaches and angrily demands to know where Brett has gone. Mike says she is with the bullfighter. A furious Robert hits both Mike and Jake. Jake returns to the hotel and learns that Robert wants to see him, so he reluctantly goes to his room and finds him lying on the bed, crying. Robert begs for Jake's forgiveness, cries about how much he loves Brett, and says he is leaving in the morning. The next morning, after a man is gored to death during the running of the bulls, Mike tells Jake what happened the night before. He says that Robert found Brett in Romero's room and beat him badly. Then, he says that Brett has had a difficult life because when her former husband came home from the war, he was violent and slept with a loaded gun.

Analysis

A new character, matador Pedro Romero is introduced in this section. His presence changes the group's dynamics because of Brett's immediate attraction to him. Her character is further fleshed out in her conversation with Jake in Chapter 16 when she tells him that although she knows what she does is wrong, she feels unable to stop herself. She indicates that this has always been the case for her. Even though she knows Jake is still in love with her -- in fact, she asks him and he confirms it -- she nevertheless allows him to help her get together with Romero. This becomes a pivotal event because although Mike, her fiance, seems to take her infidelities in stride, Robert Cohn has deluded himself into believing he and Brett have a future. He is enraged when he learns she is with Romero. One can assume, however, that Mike's increasingly violent drunken outbursts are his way of dealing with Brett's behavior.

The theme of anti-Semitism continues in this section with several derogatory references to the fact that Robert is Jewish and therefore undesirable as a man. In fact, at one point he is referred to as a kike, which is an extremely derogatory term. The effects of war theme also comes up again at the end of Chapter 17 when Mike tells Bill and Jake that Brett's former husband was badly changed by his experiences.

Discussion Question 1

In Chapter 16, Mike again demands for Robert to go away. Although he has never responded to Mike's outbursts before, this time Cohn becomes openly angry and prepares for a fight. Why is his reaction different this time? What has transpired that explains this?

Discussion Question 2

At the end of Chapter 17, Mike tells Bill and Jake about Brett's past. What does he tell them? Does this information change your perception of Brett in any way? If so, how?

Discussion Question 3

Jake, Mike, and Robert all claim to be in love with Brett. How does each one approach his feelings for her? How do they react to her behavior? What does this say about each man?

Vocabulary

Assimilated, outlying, pockmarked, procession, dignitary, amphitheatre, partition, elation, intricate, gentry, sadist, brusque, contortion, purity, dominate, unattainable, concourse, critic, conceited, authority, mimic, languid, phantom, acclamation.

This section contains 860 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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