The Sun Also Rises Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 21 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 605 words
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Jake Barnes

Jake Barnes is an American journalist living as an expatriate in post-World War I Paris. He has a large number of friends and casual acquaintances there, many of them fellow writers and expatriates, and he is a member of the so-called "cafe society," spending a great deal of time in the city's cafes and bars.

Jake is in love with Lady Brett Ashley, an English nurse he met while recuperating from injuries suffered during the war. However, his injuries have left him impotent so their relationship is now simply a friendship although both wish it could be more.

Although he lives in a modern urban area, Jake's passions are fishing and bullfighting, and he indulges in them as often as possible. He also is a keen observer of the world and people around him. Despite his grief over his love for Brett and the injury that keeps them apart, he is a steadying force among his group of hard-drinking, emotionally charged friends.

The character is based on Hemingway himself.

Lady Brett Ashley

Brett Ashley is portrayed as an example of a modern woman. Having been divorced twice -- once from an English nobleman who provided her with her title -- she smokes, drinks heavily, is promiscuous, and does as she pleases. She is currently engaged to fellow Englishman Michael Campbell, but during the course of the book has affairs with two other men and has done so before.

Brett professes to be in love with Jake Barnes, a journalist she met while working as a nurse during World War I. However, he is impotent, and she insists that her sexual needs be filled. She continues to lean on him as a friend.

Despite her title, Brett is not a wealthy woman and is financially dependent on men. Although she is fiercely independent, she seems to have a low opinion of herself in many respects, telling Jake that she knows some of the things she does are wrong, but she cannot help herself.

Robert Cohn

Robert Cohn is a Jewish American writer living in Paris. Although he lives among the expatriates, he is more idealistic and romantic than the book's other characters, and he drinks less and shows his emotions more as well. Robert was a boxing champion at Princeton. He married young, but he is now divorced. When the novel opens, he is in a relationship with Frances Clyne, but he refuses to marry her. He has a brief affair with Brett Ashley, a situation that eventually explodes and causes dissension during the trip to Pamplona.

Bill Gorton

Bill Gorton is a Chicago writer who comes to Europe to fish and attend the festival of San Fermin with his close friend Jake. Their witty banter provides a source of humor for the book.

Michael Campbell

Mike Campbell is a British financier who is now bankrupt, but he remains optimistic that funds will always appear. He is engaged to Brett Ashley.

Pedro Romero

Pedro Romero is a 19-year-old bullfighter who attracts the attention of and has an affair with Brett.

Frances Clyne

Frances Clyne is the live-in girlfriend of Robert Cohn when the novel begins. She soon leaves him when he refuses to marry her.

Juanito Montoya

Juanito Montoya owns the hotel where the friends stay in Pamplona. He is a fan of bullfighting, a subject he discusses at length with Jake during the festival each year.


Wilson-Harris, whose first name is never given, is an Englishman who befriends Jake and Bill on a fishing trip.


Edna is a friend of Bill who briefly spends time with the group in Pamplona.

This section contains 605 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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