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The Sun Also Rises | Quotes

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1.

Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn.


Jake, Book 1, Chapter 1

Jake touches on two of the novel's key elements. Boxing, like all other sports in the novel, is a source of competitiveness between the men. Jake's condescending tone toward Cohn hints at the themes of masculinity and insecurity.

2.

Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.


Jake, Book 1, Chapter 2

After Cohn expresses concern that he is not "really living" his life, Jake offers this response, which suggests Cohn should simply get over or live with his disappointment, just as Jake has had to do.

3.

Everybody's sick. I'm sick, too.


Jake, Book 1, Chapter 3

Jake makes this remark to Georgette when she wonders why he does not want to kiss. The comment refers both to Jake's wartime injury and to the general sense of discomfort "everyone" feels after the war.

4.

It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.


Jake, Book 1, Chapter 4

Although he tries to appear tough and stoic (Hemingway's masculine ideal), particularly about his impotence, Jake struggles to hide his emotions when home alone at night.

5.

Couldn't we live together, Brett? Couldn't we just live together?


Jake, Book 1, Chapter 7

In this heartbreaking line Jake begs Brett for a life together, but she rejects him. Since Jake has become impotent, Brett knows her need for sex, which she would have to get from other men, would break Jake's heart. This heartbreak, though rarely discussed, is the core of Jake's discontent.

6.

Never be daunted. Secret of my success. Never been daunted. Never been daunted in public.


Bill, Book 2, Chapter 8

Bill is drunk and talking about the experience he had on tour, but his statement sums up Hemingway's view of masculinity, and for all the male characters in the novel and all men in the real world where stoicism is paramount to masculinity.

7.

I was blind, unforgivingly jealous of what happened to him ... I certainly did hate him.


Jake, Book 2, Chapter 10

Without Cohn even knowing, the competition between himself and Jake has reached its peak. Jake learns about Cohn's affair with Brett and is extremely jealous. This jealousy forever changes their relationship and Jake's view of Brett.

8.

I would have thought you'd loved being a steer ... They lead such a quiet life. They never say anything and they're always hanging about so.


Mike, Book 2, Chapter 12

Mike compares Cohn to a steer because he is always hanging around Brett, not doing much. In a way Cohn is like a steer because he unites the rest of the men as a pack against him for his affair with Brett. Mike, much like Jake, is jealous and upset by Cohn and Brett's relationship, which challenges their own masculinity.

9.

Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people.


Jake, Book 2, Chapter 13

Jake escapes his emotions through drinking, like many other members of the lost generation. Although referring to feelings of disgust over Cohn and Brett's relationship, he might as well be discussing his feelings of disgust over the war, which he handles in the same way.

10.

Romero never made any contortions, always it was straight and pure and natural in line.


Jake, Book 2, Chapter 15

Romero is different from the rest of the characters because he isn't pretending to be something he is not. He is honest in the way other characters, who hide from their dissatisfaction and loneliness, cannot comprehend. It is this honesty that Montoya and Brett both fear will be destroyed by the outside world.

11.

Come on ... Let's get out of here. Makes me damned nervous.


Brett, Book 2, Chapter 18

The church gives Jake some solace but leaves Brett feeling nervous. Churches are places for quiet contemplation, which is not Brett's strong suit. Like many in the lost generation she prefers to act rather than think and to run from problems rather than face them.

12.

Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?


Jake, Book 3, Chapter 19

With the novel's closing line Jake finally rejects Brett's emotional advances, recognizing them as a game. At one time Jake might have believed he could have a life with Brett, but his experiences with her in Spain have made him bitter; he realizes she will never settle down with one man, not even him, and acknowledges their love is a "pretty" illusion.

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