The Sun Also Rises
Overview
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín
San Fermín
The festival of San Fermín in the city of Pamplona , is a deeply rooted celebration held annually from 12:00, 6 July, when the opening of the fiesta is marked by setting off the pyrotechnic chupinazo, to midnight 14 July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mí...

 in Pamplona
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

 to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work", and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel.
Encyclopedia
The Sun Also Rises is a 1926 novel written by American author Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to the Festival of San Fermín
San Fermín
The festival of San Fermín in the city of Pamplona , is a deeply rooted celebration held annually from 12:00, 6 July, when the opening of the fiesta is marked by setting off the pyrotechnic chupinazo, to midnight 14 July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mí...

 in Pamplona
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

 to watch the running of the bulls and the bullfights. An early and enduring modernist novel, it received mixed reviews upon publication. Hemingway biographer Jeffrey Meyers writes that it is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work", and Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin calls it his most important novel. The novel was published in the United States in October 1926 by the publishing house Scribner's
Charles Scribner's Sons
Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing a number of American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon...

. A year later, the London publishing house Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape was a London-based publisher founded in 1919 as "Page & Co" by Herbert Jonathan Cape , formerly a manager at Duckworth who had worked his way up from a position of bookshop errand boy. Cape brought with him the rights to cheap editions of the popular author Elinor Glyn and sales of...

 published the novel with the title of Fiesta. Since then it has been continuously in print.

Hemingway began writing the novel on his birthday (21 July) in 1925, finishing the draft manuscript barely two months later in September. After setting aside the manuscript for a short period, he worked on revisions during the winter of 1926. The basis for the novel was Hemingway's 1925 trip to Spain. The setting was unique and memorable, showing the seedy café life in Paris, and the excitement of the Pamplona festival, with a middle section devoted to descriptions of a fishing trip in the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

. Equally unique was Hemingway's spare writing style, combined with his restrained use of description to convey characterizations and action, which became known as the Iceberg Theory
Iceberg Theory
The Iceberg Theory is a term used to describe the writing style of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway is best known for works such as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea...

.

On the surface the novel is a love story between the protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 Jake Barnes—a man whose war wound has made him impotent—and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley. Brett's affair with Robert Cohn causes Jake to be upset and break off his friendship with Cohn; her seduction of the 19-year-old matador Romero causes Jake to lose his good reputation among the Spaniards in Pamplona. The novel is a roman à clef
Roman à clef
Roman à clef or roman à clé , French for "novel with a key", is a phrase used to describe a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people, and the "key" is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction...

; the characters are based on real people and the action is based on real events. In the novel, Hemingway presents his notion that the "Lost Generation
Lost Generation
The "Lost Generation" is a term used to refer to the generation, actually a cohort, that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway who used it as one of two contrasting epigraphs for his novel, The Sun Also Rises. In that volume Hemingway credits the phrase to...

", considered to have been decadent, dissolute and irretrievably damaged by World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, was resilient and strong. Additionally, Hemingway investigates the themes of love, death, renewal in nature, and the nature of masculinity.

Background

In the 1920s Hemingway lived in Paris, was foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star
Toronto Star
The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its print edition is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario...

, and traveled to places such as Smyrna
Smyrna
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

 to report about the Greco–Turkish War. He wanted to use his journalism experience to write fiction, believing that a story could be based on real events when a writer distilled his own experiences in such a way that, according to biographer Jeffrey Meyers, "what he made up was truer than what he remembered."
With his wife Hadley
Hadley Richardson
Elizabeth Hadley Richardson married writer Ernest Hemingway in 1921. She was born the youngest daughter to a St. Louis family. After Hadley fell out of a window as a child, her mother became overprotective and curtailed her activities from then on...

, Hemingway first visited the Festival of San Fermín
San Fermín
The festival of San Fermín in the city of Pamplona , is a deeply rooted celebration held annually from 12:00, 6 July, when the opening of the fiesta is marked by setting off the pyrotechnic chupinazo, to midnight 14 July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mí...

 in Pamplona
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

, Spain in 1923, where he became fascinated by bullfighting
Bullfighting
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...

. The Hemingways returned to Pamplona in 1924—enjoying the trip immensely—this time accompanied by Chink Dorman-Smith
Eric Dorman-Smith
Eric Edward Dorman-Smith , later de-Anglicised to Eric Edward Dorman O'Gowan, was a British Army soldier who served with distinction in World War I, and then seems to have become something of a bête noire to the British military establishment because of his lively mind, and unorthodox...

, John Dos Passos
John Dos Passos
John Roderigo Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist.-Early life:Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of John Randolph Dos Passos , a distinguished lawyer of Madeiran Portuguese descent, and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison of Petersburg, Virginia. The elder Dos Passos...

, and Donald Ogden Stewart and his wife. The couple returned a third time in June 1925; that year they brought with them a different group of American and British expatriates: Hemingway's Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 boyhood friend Bill Smith, Stewart, Lady Duff Twysden
Duff Twysden
Mary Duff Stirling, Lady Twysden was a British socialite most famous for being the model for Brett Ashley in Ernest Hemingway's novel The Sun Also Rises....

 (recently divorced), her lover Pat Guthrie, and Harold Loeb
Harold Loeb
Harold Albert Loeb was an American figure active in the arts in Paris in the 1920s. Loeb attended Princeton University where he boxed. Loeb served in World War I and after the War was Ernest Hemingway's sparring partner. Loeb served as co-editor of Broom, An International Magazine of the Arts . He...

. In Pamplona the group quickly disintegrated. Hemingway, attracted to Lady Duff, was jealous of Loeb, who had recently been on a romantic getaway with her; by the end of the week the two men had a public fistfight. Against this background was the influence of the young matador from Ronda
Ronda
Ronda is a city in Spanish province of Málaga. It is located about West from the city of Málaga, within the autonomous community of Andalusia. Its population is approximately 35,000 inhabitants.-History:...

, Cayetano Ordóñez
Cayetano Ordóñez
Cayetano Ordóñez is the founder of the Ordóñez family of bullfighters.His parents owned a shoeshop called La Palma, which gave him his nickname . In 1917 he first began to perform as a bullfighter in the ranches of the area were he lived...

, whose brilliance in the bullring affected the spectators. Ordóñez honored Hemingway's wife Hadley by presenting her, from the bullring, with the ear of a bull he killed. Outside of Pamplona, the fishing trip to the Irati River (near Burguete in Navarre
Navarre
Navarre , officially the Chartered Community of Navarre is an autonomous community in northern Spain, bordering the Basque Country, La Rioja, and Aragon in Spain and Aquitaine in France...

) was marred by polluted water.

Hemingway intended to write a non-fiction book about bullfighting but thought that the week's experiences had presented him with enough material for a novel. A few days after the fiesta ended, on his birthday (21 July), he began to write the draft of what would become The Sun Also Rises, finishing eight weeks later. By 17 August, with 14 chapters written and a working title of Fiesta chosen, Hemingway returned to Paris. He finished the draft on 21 September 1925, writing a foreword the following weekend and changing the title to The Lost Generation.

A few months later, in December 1925, the Hemingways left to spend the winter in Schruns
Schruns
Schruns is the main village of the Montafon valley in Vorarlberg, Austria, in the Bludenz district.In the west, one can see one of the most popular hiking and climbing mountains in Vorarlberg, the Zimba, which is called the "Vorarlberger Matterhorn"....

, Austria, where Hemingway began revising the manuscript extensively. Pauline Pfeiffer
Pauline Pfeiffer
Pauline Marie Pfeiffer was the second wife of the writer Ernest Hemingway. She was born in Parkersburg, Iowa, on July 22, 1895, moving to St. Louis in 1901 where she went to school at Visitation Academy of St. Louis...

 joined them in January and against Hadley's advice urged him to sign a contract with Scribner's
Charles Scribner's Sons
Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing a number of American authors including Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon...

. He left Austria for a quick trip to New York to meet with the publishers, and on his return, during a stop in Paris, began an affair with Pauline, before returning to Schruns to finish the revisions in March. In June, he was in Pamplona with Hadley and Pauline. On their return to Paris, Hadley asked for a separation and left for the south of France. In August, alone in Paris, he completed the proofs, and dedicated the novel to his wife and son. After the publication of the book in October, Hadley asked for a divorce, and he gave her the royalties
Royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 from The Sun Also Rises.

Publication history

Hemingway likely broke the contract with his publisher for the opportunity to have The Sun Also Rises published by Scribner's. In December 1925 he quickly wrote The Torrents of Spring
The Torrents of Spring
The Torrents of Spring is a novella written by Ernest Hemingway, published in 1926. Hemingway's first long work, it was written as a parody of Sherwood Anderson...

—a satirical novella
Novella
A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

 attacking Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson
Sherwood Anderson was an American novelist and short story writer. His most enduring work is the short story sequence Winesburg, Ohio. Writers he has influenced include Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, and Amos Oz.-Early life:Anderson was born in Clyde, Ohio,...

—and sent it to his publishers Boni & Liveright
Boni & Liveright
Boni & Liveright was a publishing house established in 1916 in New York City by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright which made a name by publishing work considered avant-garde and in so doing published work by many modernist authors. They attracted attention from the Society for Suppression of Vice...

. His three-book contract with them included a termination clause should they reject a single submission. Unamused by the satire against one of their most saleable authors, Boni & Liveright immediately rejected it and terminated the contract. Within weeks Hemingway signed a contract with Scribner's, who agreed to publish The Torrents of Spring and all of his subsequent work.The Torrents of Spring has little scholarly criticism as it is considered to be of less importance than Hemingway's subsequent work. See Oliver (1999), 330

Scribner's published the novel on 22 October 1926. Its first edition
First edition
The bibliographical definition of an edition includes all copies of a book printed “from substantially the same setting of type,” including all minor typographical variants.- First edition :...

 consisted of 5090 copies, selling at $2.00 per copy. Cleonike Damianakes illustrated the dust jacket
Dust jacket
The dust jacket of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers...

 with a Hellenistic design of a scantily robed woman, head bent, one hand holding an apple, thighs exposed. The title was decorated with apples—the intent was to present a quasi-sexual image tastefully. Two months later the book was in a second printing with 7000 copies sold. Subsequent printings were ordered; by 1928, after the publication of Hemingway's short story collection Men Without Women, the novel was in its eighth printing. In 1927 the novel was published in the UK by Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape
Jonathan Cape was a London-based publisher founded in 1919 as "Page & Co" by Herbert Jonathan Cape , formerly a manager at Duckworth who had worked his way up from a position of bookshop errand boy. Cape brought with him the rights to cheap editions of the popular author Elinor Glyn and sales of...

, title Fiesta, and the novel's two epigraphs were left out in the UK edition. In the 1990s, the British editions were titled Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises. Two decades later, in 1947, Scribner's released three of Hemingway's works as a boxed set, including The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Ernest Hemingway concerning events during the Italian campaigns during the First World War. The book, which was first published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a Lieutenant in the ambulance...

, and For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is assigned to blow up a...

.

In 1983 The New York Times reported that The Sun Also Rises had been in print continuously since its publication in 1926, and was likely one of the most translated titles in the world. At that time Scribner's began to print cheaper mass-market paperbacks of the book, in addition to the more expensive trade paperbacks already in print. In 2006 Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins...

 began to produce audiobook versions of Hemingway's novels, including The Sun Also Rises.

Plot summary

The protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 of The Sun Also Rises is Jake Barnes, an expatriate American journalist living in Paris. Jake suffered a war wound that has caused him to be impotent, though the nature of his wound is never explicitly described in the novel. He is in love with Lady Brett Ashley, a twice-divorced Englishwoman. Brett, with her bobbed
Bob cut
A "bob cut" is a short haircut for women in which the hair is typically cut straight around the head at about jaw-level, often with a fringe at the front.-The beginning:...

 hair, embodies the new sexual freedom of the 1920s, having had numerous love affairs. Book One is set in the Café society
Café Society
Café society was the collective description for the so-called "Beautiful People" and "Bright Young Things" who gathered in fashionable cafes and restaurants in New York, Paris, and London beginning in the late 19th century...

 of Paris. In the opening scenes, Jake plays tennis with his college friend Robert Cohn, picks up a prostitute (Georgette), and runs into Brett and Count Mippipopolous in a nightclub. Brett and Jake leave together; in a taxi she tells him she loves him, but they know they have no chance at a lasting relationship.

In Book Two Jake is joined by Bill Gorton, recently arrived from New York, and Brett's fiancé Mike Campbell, who arrives from Scotland. Jake and Bill travel to Spain, where they meet Robert Cohn north of Pamplona
Pamplona
Pamplona is the historial capital city of Navarre, in Spain, and of the former kingdom of Navarre.The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival, from July 6 to 14, in which the running of the bulls is one of the main attractions...

 for a fishing trip. Cohn, however, leaves for Pamplona to wait for Brett and Mike. Cohn had an affair with Brett a year earlier and still feels possessive of her despite her engagement to Mike. Jake and Bill enjoy five days of tranquillity, fishing the streams near Burguete, after which they rejoin the group in Pamplona, where they begin to drink heavily. Cohn's presence is increasingly resented by the others, who taunt him with anti-semitic remarks. During the fiesta the characters drink, eat, watch the running of the bulls, attend bullfights, and bicker with each other. Jake introduces Brett to Romero at Montoya's inn; she is smitten with the 19-year-old matador and seduces him. The jealous tension between the men builds; Mike, Jake, Cohn, and Romero each love Brett. Cohn, who had been a champion boxer in college, has fistfights with Jake, Mike, and Romero, whom he injures. Despite the tension, Romero continues to perform brilliantly in the bullring.

Book Three shows the characters in the aftermath of the fiesta. Sober again, they leave Pamplona. Bill returns to Paris, Mike stays in Bayonne
Bayonne
Bayonne is a city and commune in south-western France at the confluence of the Nive and Adour rivers, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, of which it is a sub-prefecture...

, and Jake goes to San Sebastián
San Sebastián
Donostia-San Sebastián is a city and municipality located in the north of Spain, in the coast of the Bay of Biscay and 20 km away from the French border. The city is the capital of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. The municipality’s population is 186,122 , and its...

 in northeastern Spain. As Jake is about to return to Paris he receives a telegram from Brett, who left for Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 with Romero, asking for help. He finds her in a cheap hotel, without money, and without Romero. She announces she has decided to marry Mike. The novel ends with Jake and Brett in a taxi speaking of the things that might have been.

Paris and the Lost Generation

The first book of The Sun Also Rises is set in mid-1920s Paris. Americans were drawn to Paris in the Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism...

 by the favorable exchange rate
Exchange rate
In finance, an exchange rate between two currencies is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another. It is also regarded as the value of one country’s currency in terms of another currency...

, with as many as 200,000 English-speaking expatriates living there. The Paris Tribune
International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times and is printed at 38 sites throughout the world, for sale in more than 160 countries and territories...

reported in 1925 that Paris had an American Hospital
American Hospital of Paris
The American Hospital of Paris, founded in 1906, located in Neuilly-sur-Seine, is a private, not-for-profit institution that is considered agréé/non-conventionné under the French system of healthcare. It has 187 surgical, medical, and obstetric beds....

, an American Library, and an American Chamber of Commerce. Many American writers were disenchanted with the US, where they found less artistic freedom than in Europe. Hemingway had more artistic freedom in Paris than in the US at a period when Ulysses
Ulysses (novel)
Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature,...

, written by his friend James Joyce
James Joyce
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

, was banned and burned in New York.

The themes of The Sun Also Rises are apparent from its two epigraphs
Epigraph (literature)
In literature, an epigraph is a phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning of a document or component. The epigraph may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon, either to invite comparison or to enlist a conventional...

. The first is an allusion to the "Lost Generation
Lost Generation
The "Lost Generation" is a term used to refer to the generation, actually a cohort, that came of age during World War I. The term was popularized by Ernest Hemingway who used it as one of two contrasting epigraphs for his novel, The Sun Also Rises. In that volume Hemingway credits the phrase to...

", a term coined by Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

 referring to the post-war generation;Hemingway may have used the term as an early title for the novel, according to biographer James Mellow. The term originated from a remark in French made to Gertrude Stein by the owner of a garage, speaking of those who went to war: "C'est une gènèration perdue" (literally, "they are a lost generation"). See Mellow (1992), 309 the other epigraph is a long quotation from Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
The Book of Ecclesiastes, called , is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The English name derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew title.The main speaker in the book, identified by the name or title Qoheleth , introduces himself as "son of David, king in Jerusalem." The work consists of personal...

: "What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose." Hemingway told his editor Max Perkins that the book was not so much about a generation being lost, but that "the earth abideth forever". He thought the characters in The Sun Also Rises may have been "battered" but were not lost.

Hemingway scholar Wagner-Martin writes that Hemingway wanted the book to be about morality, which he emphasized by changing the working title from Fiesta to The Sun Also Rises. The book can be read either as a novel about bored expatriates or as a morality tale about a protagonist who searches for integrity in an immoral world. Months before Hemingway left for Pamplona, the press was depicting the Parisian Latin Quarter, where he lived, as decadent and depraved. He began writing the novel as a story of a matador corrupted by the influence of the Latin Quarter crowd; he then expanded it into a novel about Jake Barnes at risk of being corrupted by the wealthy and inauthentic expatriates.
The characters form a group, sharing similar norms, and each greatly affected by the war. Hemingway captures the angst of the age and transcends Brett and Jake's love story, although they are representative of the period: Brett is starved for reassurance and love and Jake is sexually maimed. His wound symbolizes the disability of the age, the disillusion, and the frustrations felt by an entire generation.

Hemingway thought he lost touch with American values while living in Paris, but his biographer Michael Reynolds claims the opposite, seeing evidence of the author's midwestern American
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

 values in the novel. Hemingway admired hard work. He portrayed the matadors and the prostitutes, who work for a living, in a positive manner, but Brett, who prostitutes herself, is emblematic of "the rotten crowd" living on inherited money. It is Jake, the working journalist, who pays the bills again and again when those that can pay do not. Hemingway shows, through Jake's actions, his disapproval of people who did not pay up. Reynolds says that Hemingway shows the tragedy, not so much of the decadence of the Montparnasse crowd, but of the self-destruction of American values of the period. As such the author created an American hero who is impotent and powerless. Jake becomes the moral center of the story. He never considers himself part of the expatriate crowd because he is a working man; to Jake a working man is genuine and authentic, and those who do not work for a living spend their lives posing.

Women and love

In Lady Brett Ashley, Hemingway created a character who reflected her time. Paris was a city where divorce was common and easy to be had in the mid-1920s. The twice-divorced Brett represented the liberated New Woman
New Woman
The New Woman was a feminist ideal that emerged in the late 19th century. The New Woman pushed the limits set by male-dominated society, especially as modeled in the plays of Norwegian Henrik Ibsen . "The New Woman sprang fully armed from Ibsen's brain," according to a joke by Max Beerbohm...

. James Nagel writes that Hemingway created in Brett one of the more fascinating women in 20th-century American literature. Sexually promiscuous, she is a denizen of Parisian nightlife and cafés. In Pamplona she is out of her element and causes chaos: in her presence, the men drink too much and fight; she seduces the young bullfighter; she becomes a Circe
Circe
In Greek mythology, Circe is a minor goddess of magic , described in Homer's Odyssey as "The loveliest of all immortals", living on the island of Aeaea, famous for her part in the adventures of Odysseus.By most accounts, Circe was the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, and Perse, an Oceanid...

 in the festival. Critics describe her variously as complicated, elusive, and enigmatic; Donald Daiker writes that Hemingway "treats her with a delicate balance of sympathy and antipathy". She is vulnerable, forgiving, independent—qualities that Hemingway juxtaposes with the other women in the book, who are either prostitutes or overbearing nags.

Nagel considers the novel a tragedy. Jake and Brett, in spite of their love, have a relationship that becomes destructive because the love cannot be consummated. Brett destroys Jake's friendship with Cohn, and in Pamplona she ruins his hard-won reputation among the Spaniards. Meyers sees Brett as a woman who wants sex without love while Jake can only give her love without sex. Although Brett sleeps with many men, it is Jake she loves. Dana Fore writes that Brett is willing to be with Jake in spite of his disability, in a "non-traditional erotic relationship". Other critics such as Leslie Fiedler
Leslie Fiedler
Leslie Aaron Fiedler was a Jewish-American literary critic, known for his interest in mythography and his championing of genre fiction. His work also involves application of psychological theories to American literature. He was in practical terms one of the early postmodernist critics working...

 and Nina Baym see her as a supreme bitch; Fiedler sees Brett as one of the "outstanding examples of Hemingway's 'bitch women. Jake becomes bitter about their relationship, as when he says, "Send a girl off with a man .... Now go and bring her back. And sign the wire with love."

Critics interpret the Jake–Brett relationship in various ways. Daiker suggests that Brett's behavior in Madrid—after Romero leaves and when Jake arrives at her summons—reflects her immorality. Scott Donaldson thinks Hemingway presents the Jake–Brett relationship in such a manner that Jake knew "that in having Brett for a friend 'he had been getting something for nothing' and that sooner or later he would have to pay the bill". Daiker notes that Brett relies on Jake to pay for her train fare from Madrid to San Sebastián
San Sebastián
Donostia-San Sebastián is a city and municipality located in the north of Spain, in the coast of the Bay of Biscay and 20 km away from the French border. The city is the capital of Gipuzkoa, in the autonomous community of the Basque Country. The municipality’s population is 186,122 , and its...

, where she rejoins her fiancée Mike. In a piece Hemingway cut, he has Jake thinking, "you learned a lot about a woman by not sleeping with her". By the end of the novel, Jake likely has changed—although he loves Brett, he undergoes a transformation—and in Madrid he finally begins to distance himself from her. Reynolds believes that Jake represents the "everyman
Everyman
In literature and drama, the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual, with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily, and who is often placed in extraordinary circumstances...

" and that in the course of the narrative he loses his honor, faith, and hope. He sees the novel as a morality play
Morality play
The morality play is a genre of Medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as "interludes", a broader term given to dramas with or without a moral theme. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of...

 with Jake as the person who loses the most.

The corrida, the fiesta, and nature

In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway contrasts Paris with Spain, and the frenzy of the fiesta with the tranquillity of the Spanish landscape. Spain was Hemingway's favorite European country; he considered it a healthy place, and the only country "that hasn't been shot to pieces". He was profoundly affected by the spectacle of bullfighting, writing, "It isn't just brutal like they always told us. It's a great tragedy—and the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and takes more guts and skill and guts again than anything possibly could. It's just like having a ringside seat at the war with nothing going to happen to you." He demonstrated what he considered the purity in the culture of bullfighting—called afición—and presented it as an authentic way of life, contrasted against the inauthenticity of the Parisian bohemians. To be accepted as an aficionado was rare for a non-Spaniard; Jake goes through a difficult process to gain acceptance by the "fellowship of afición". Hemingway scholar Allen Josephs thinks the novel centers around the corrida
Bullfighting
Bullfighting is a traditional spectacle of Spain, Portugal, southern France and some Latin American countries , in which one or more bulls are baited in a bullring for sport and entertainment...

, (the bullfighting), and how each character reacts to it. Brett's reaction is to seduce the matador; Cohn fails to understand and expects to be bored; Jake understands fully because only he moves between the world of the inauthentic expatriates and the authentic Spaniards; the hotel-keeper Montoya is the keeper of the faith; and Romero is the artist in the ring—he is both innocent and perfect and the one who bravely faces death. The corrida is presented as an idealized drama where the matador faces death, creating a moment of existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

, or nada (nothingness), broken when death is vanquished and the animal killed.
Hemingway presents matadors as heroic characters dancing in a bullring. He considered the bullring as war with precise rules, in contrast to the messiness of the real war that he, and by extension Jake, experienced. Critic Keneth Kinnamon notes that young Romero is the novel's only honorable character. Hemingway named Romero after Pedro Romero
Pedro Romero
Pedro Romero Martínez was a legendary bullfighter from the Romero family in Ronda, Spain. His grandfather Francisco is credited with advancing the art of using the muletilla; his father and two brothers were also toreros...

, an 18th-century bullfighter who killed thousands of bulls in the most difficult manner: having the bull impale itself on his sword as he stood perfectly still. Reynolds says Romero, who symbolizes the classically pure matador, is the "one idealized figure in the novel". Josephs says that when Hemingway changed Romero's name from Guerrita and imbued him with the characteristics of the historical Romero, he also changed the scene in which Romero kills a bull recibiendo (receiving the bull) in homage to the historical namesake.

Before the group arrives in Pamplona, Jake, Bill and Cohn take a fishing trip to the Irati River. As Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom
Harold Bloom is an American writer and literary critic, and is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. He is known for his defense of 19th-century Romantic poets, his unique and controversial theories of poetic influence, and his prodigious literary output, particularly for a literary...

 points out, the scene serves as an interlude between the Paris and Pamplona sections, "an oasis that exists outside linear time". More importantly, on another level it reflects "the mainstream of American fiction beginning with the Pilgrims seeking refuge from English oppression"—the prominent theme in American literature of escaping into the wilderness, as seen in Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper
James Fenimore Cooper was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales, featuring frontiersman Natty Bumppo...

, Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in the city of Salem, Massachusetts to Nathaniel Hathorne and the former Elizabeth Clarke Manning. His ancestors include John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem Witch Trials...

, Melville
Herman Melville
Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumous novella Billy Budd....

, Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

, and Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

. Fiedler calls the theme "The Sacred Land"; he thinks the American west is evoked in The Sun Also Rises by the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 and even given a symbolic nod with the naming of the "Hotel Montana". In Hemingway's writing, nature is a place of refuge and rebirth, according to Stoltzfus, where the hunter or fisherman gains a moment of transcendence at the moment the prey is killed. Furthermore, nature is where men are without women: men fish, men hunt, men find redemption. In nature Jake and Bill do not need to discuss the war because their war experience, paradoxically, is ever-present. The nature scenes also serve as counterpoint to the fiesta scenes.

All of the characters drink heavily during the fiesta and generally throughout the novel. In his essay "Alcoholism in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises", Matts Djos says the main characters exhibit alcoholic tendencies such as depression, anxiety and sexual inadequacy. He writes that Jake's self-pity is symptomatic of an alcoholic, as is Brett's out-of-control behavior. William Balassi thinks that Jake gets drunk to avoid his feelings for Brett, notably in the Madrid scenes at the end where he has three martinis before lunch and drinks three bottles of wine with lunch. Reynolds, however, believes the drinking becomes more relevant when set against the historical context of Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

. The atmosphere of the fiesta lends itself to drunkenness, but the degree of revelry reflects a reaction against Prohibition. Bill, visiting from the US, drinks in Paris and in Spain. Jake is rarely drunk in Paris where he works, but on vacation in Pamplona he drinks constantly. Reynolds says that Prohibition split attitudes about morality, and in the novel Hemingway made clear his dislike of Prohibition.

Masculinity and gender

Critics have seen Jake as an ambiguous code hero of Hemingway manliness. Critic Philip Young believes that Jake is an extension of Hemingway's autobiographical character Nick Adams
Nick Adams (character)
Nick Adams is a fictional character, the protagonist of two dozen short stories by American author Ernest Hemingway, written in the 1920s and 30s...

, first introduced in his earlier short stories. However, Kathy and Arnold Davidson write in "Decoding the Hemingway Hero" that neither Jake nor the novel itself should be minimized to such an extent, for there are many ambiguities. For example, in the bar scene in Paris, Jake is angry at the homosexual men. Elliot believes that Hemingway viewed homosexuality as an inauthentic way of life, but he aligns Jake with homosexual men because, like them, he does not have sex with women. Jake's anger shows his self-hatred at his inauthenticity and lack of masculinity. His sense of masculine identity is lost—he is less than a man. Hemingway's writing has been called homophobic. For example, in the fishing scenes, Bill confesses his fondness for Jake but then goes on to say, "I couldn't tell you that in New York. It'd mean I was a faggot." Elliot wonders if Jake's wound perhaps signifies latent homosexuality, rather than only a loss of masculinity. Romero is the symbol of masculine identity; at the bullring Jake can only be a spectator. The Davidsons write that Romero reflects the code of masculinity in his bravery, and that Brett is attracted to him for this reason. Jake destroys the code hero Romero in bringing Brett to him, diminishing him and diminishing his own afición.

Critics have examined issues of gender misidentification that are prevalent in much of Hemingway's work. He was interested in cross-gender themes, as shown by his depictions of effeminate men and boyish women. In his fiction, a woman's hair is often symbolically important and used to denote gender. Brett, with her short hair, is androgynous
Androgyny
Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ- and γυνή , referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics...

 and compared to a boy—yet the ambiguity lies in the fact that she is described as a "damned fine-looking woman". Her feminine traits are minimized and her masculine traits emphasized. Daiker speculates that Romero may have left Brett because he disliked her image and her short hair; she lacked the womanly qualities he wanted.

Anti-semitism

Mike lay on the bed looking like a death mask of himself. He opened his eyes and looked at me.
'Hello Jake' he said very slowly. 'I'm getting a little sleep. I've wanted a little sleep for a long time ....'
'You'll sleep, Mike. Don't worry, boy.'
'Brett's got a bullfighter,' Mike said. 'But her Jew has gone away .... Damned good thing, what?'
The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway has been called anti-semitic, most notably because of the language he used and the characterization of Robert Cohn in the book. Cohn is often referred to as "kike" or Jew. It was Harold Loeb, on whom Cohn's character is based, who perhaps lost the most when Hemingway immortalized him as the unlikeable Jew in the story. As Susan Beegel writes about Cohn, "Hemingway never lets the reader forget that Cohn is a Jew, not an unattractive character who happens to be a Jew but a character who is unattractive because he is a Jew." Shunned by the other members of the group, Cohn is characterized as "different", unable or unwilling to understand and participate in the fiesta. Cohn is never really part of the group—separated by his difference or his Jewishness. Reynolds writes that in 1925 Loeb should have declined Hemingway's invitation to join them in Pamplona. Before the trip he was Lady Duff's lover and Hemingway's friend; during the fiasco of the fiesta he lost Lady Duff and Hemingway's friendship, but more importantly Hemingway based on Loeb a character chiefly remembered as a "rich Jew". Hemingway critic Josephine Knopf thinks Hemingway likely intended to depict Cohn as a "shlemiel" (or fool), but that Cohn is the least authentically presented character in the book, lacking any of the characteristics of a traditional "shlemiel".

Writing style

The novel is well-known for its style, which is variously described as modern, hard-boiled, or understated. As a novice writer and journalist in Paris, Hemingway turned to Ezra Pound
Ezra Pound
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure in the early modernist movement in poetry...

—who had a reputation as "an unofficial minister of culture who acted as mid-wife for new literary talent"—to mark and blue-ink his short stories. From Pound Hemingway learned to write in the modernist
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 style: he used understatement, pared away sentimentalism, and presented images and scenes without explanations of meaning, most noticeably at the book's conclusion, in which multiple future possibilities are left for Brett and Jake.Hemingway wrote a fragment of an unpublished sequel in which he has Jake and Brett meeting in the Dingo Bar in Paris. With Brett is Mike Campbell. See Daiker (2009), 85 Hemingway scholar Anders Hallengren writes that because Hemingway learned from Pound to "distrust adjectives" he created a style "in accordance with the esthetics and ethics of raising the emotional temperature towards the level of universal truth by shutting the door on sentiment, on the subjective."

F. Scott Fitzgerald told Hemingway to "let the book's action play itself out among its characters". Hemingway scholar Linda Wagner-Martin writes that, in taking Fitzgerald's advice, Hemingway produced a novel without a central narrator: "Hemingway's book was a step ahead; it was the modernist novel." When Fitzgerald advised Hemingway to trim at least 2500 words from the opening sequence, which was 30 pages long, Hemingway instead wired the publishers telling them to cut the opening 30 pages altogether. The result was a novel without a focused starting point, which was seen as a modern perspective and critically well-received.
Each time he let the bull pass so close that the man and the bull and the cape that filled and pivoted ahead of the bull were all one sharply etched mass. It was all so slow and so controlled. It was though he were rocking the bull to sleep. He made four veronicas like that ... and came away toward the applause, his hand on his hip, his cape on his arm, and the bull watching his back going away.
—bullfighting scene from The Sun Also Rises

Wagner-Martin speculates that Hemingway may have wanted to have a weak or negative hero as defined by Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton , was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, short story writer, and designer.- Early life and marriage:...

, but he had no experience creating a hero or protagonist. At that point his fiction consisted of extremely short stories, not one of which featured a hero. The hero changed during the writing of The Sun Also Rises: first the matador was the hero, then Cohn was the hero, then Brett, and finally Hemingway realized "maybe there is not any hero at all. Maybe a story is better without any hero." Balassi believes that in eliminating other characters as the protagonist he brought Jake indirectly into the role as the novel's hero.

As a roman à clef
Roman à clef
Roman à clef or roman à clé , French for "novel with a key", is a phrase used to describe a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people, and the "key" is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction...

, the novel bases its characters on real people, causing scandal in the expatriate community. Hemingway biographer Carlos Baker writes that "word-of-mouth of the book" helped sales. Parisian expatriates gleefully tried to match the fictional characters to real identities. Moreover, he writes that Hemingway used prototypes easily found in the Latin Quarter on which to base his characters. The early draft included the real names of the group; Jake's character was called Hem, and Brett's was called "Duff".

Although the novel is written in a journalistic style, Frederic Svoboda writes that the striking thing about the work is "how quickly it moves away from a simple recounting of events". Jackson Benson believes that Hemingway used autobiographical details as framing devices for life in general. For example, Benson says that Hemingway drew out his experiences with "what-if" scenarios: "what if I were wounded in such a way that I could not sleep at night? What if I were wounded and made crazy, what would happen if I were sent back to the front?" Hemingway believed that the writer could describe one thing while an entirely different thing occurs below the surface—an approach he called the iceberg theory
Iceberg Theory
The Iceberg Theory is a term used to describe the writing style of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway is best known for works such as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea...

, or the theory of omission.
If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.
Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economic and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the...

 explained the iceberg theory
Iceberg Theory
The Iceberg Theory is a term used to describe the writing style of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway is best known for works such as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, and The Old Man and the Sea...

 in Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon is a non-fiction book by Ernest Hemingway about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting. It was originally published in 1932. The book provides a look at the history and what Hemingway considers the magnificence of bullfighting...

(1932).

Balassi says Hemingway applied the iceberg theory better in The Sun Also Rises than in any of his other works, by editing away extraneous material or purposely leaving gaps in the story. He made editorial remarks in the manuscript that show he wanted to break from the stricture of Gertrude Stein's advice to use "clear restrained writing". In the earliest draft the novel begins in Pamplona, but Hemingway moved the opening setting to Paris because he thought the Montparnasse
Montparnasse
Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail...

 life was necessary as a counterpoint to the later action in Spain. He wrote of Paris extensively, intending "not to be limited by the literary theories of others, [but] to write in his own way, and possibly, to fail." He added metaphors for each character: Mike's money problems, Brett's association with the Circe
Circe
In Greek mythology, Circe is a minor goddess of magic , described in Homer's Odyssey as "The loveliest of all immortals", living on the island of Aeaea, famous for her part in the adventures of Odysseus.By most accounts, Circe was the daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, and Perse, an Oceanid...

 myth, Cohn's association with the segregated steer. It wasn't until the revision process that he pared down the story, taking out unnecessary explanations, minimizing descriptive passages, and stripping down the dialogue, all of which created a "complex but tightly compressed story".

Hemingway admitted that he learned what he needed as a foundation for his writing from the style sheet for The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City Star is a McClatchy newspaper based in Kansas City, Missouri, in the United States. Published since 1880, the paper is the recipient of eight Pulitzer Prizes...

, where he worked as cub reporter."Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative." Critic John Aldridge says that the minimalist style resulted from Hemingway's belief that to write authentically, each word had to be carefully chosen for its simplicity and authenticity and carry a great deal of weight. Aldridge writes that Hemingway's style "of a minimum of simple words that seemed to be squeezed onto the page against a great compulsion to be silent, creates the impression that those words—if only because there are so few of them—are sacramental." In Paris Hemingway had been experimenting with the prosody
Prosody (linguistics)
In linguistics, prosody is the rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech. Prosody may reflect various features of the speaker or the utterance: the emotional state of the speaker; the form of the utterance ; the presence of irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus; or other elements of...

 of the King James Bible, reading aloud with his friend John Dos Passos
John Dos Passos
John Roderigo Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist.-Early life:Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of John Randolph Dos Passos , a distinguished lawyer of Madeiran Portuguese descent, and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison of Petersburg, Virginia. The elder Dos Passos...

. From the style of the biblical text he learned to increment his prose; the action in the novel builds sentence by sentence, scene by scene and chapter by chapter.
The simplicity of his style, however, is deceptive. Bloom writes that it is the effective use of parataxis
Parataxis
Parataxis is a literary technique, in writing or speaking, that favors short, simple sentences, with the use of coordinating rather than subordinating conjunctions...

 that elevates Hemingway's prose. Drawing on the Bible, Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

 and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular, characterized by...

, Hemingway wrote in deliberate understatement and he heavily incorporated parataxis, which in some cases almost becomes cinematic. His skeletal sentences were crafted in response to Henry James
Henry James
Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

's observation that World War I had "used up words", explains Hemingway scholar Zoe Trodd, who writes that his style is similar to a "multi-focal" photographic reality. The syntax, which lacks subordinating conjunctions
Grammatical conjunction
In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects two words, sentences, phrases or clauses together. A discourse connective is a conjunction joining sentences. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" must be defined for each...

, creates static sentences. The photographic "snapshot" style creates a collage
Collage
A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

 of images. Hemingway omits internal punctuation (colons, semicolons, dashes, parentheses) in favor of short declarative sentences, which are meant to build, as events build, to create a sense of the whole. He also uses techniques analogous to cinema, such as cutting quickly from one scene to the next, or splicing one scene into another. Intentional omissions allow the reader to fill the gap as though responding to instructions from the author and create three-dimensional prose. Biographer James Mellow writes that the bullfighting scenes are presented with a crispness and clarity that evoke the sense of a newsreel
Newsreel
A newsreel was a form of short documentary film prevalent in the first half of the 20th century, regularly released in a public presentation place and containing filmed news stories and items of topical interest. It was a source of news, current affairs and entertainment for millions of moviegoers...

.

Hemingway also uses color and visual art techniques to convey emotional range in his descriptions of the Irati River. In Translating Modernism: Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Ronald Berman compares Hemingway's treatment of landscape with that of post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

. During a 1949 interview, Hemingway told Lillian Ross
Lillian Ross (journalist)
Lillian Ross is an American journalist and author who has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1945. She was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Louis and Edna Ross. With the exception of her memoir Here but Not Here, about her relationship with William Shawn, she has been...

 that he learned from Cézanne how to "make a landscape". In comparing writing to painting he told her, "This is what we try to do in writing, this and this, and woods, and the rocks we have to climb over." The landscape is seen subjectively—the viewpoint of the observer is paramount. To Jake, landscape "meant a search for a solid form .... not existentially present in [his] life in Paris".

Reception

Hemingway's first novel was arguably his best and most important and came to be seen as an iconic modernist novel, although Reynolds emphasizes that Hemingway was not philosophically a modernist. In the book, his characters epitomized the post-war expatriate generation for future generations. He had received good reviews for his volume of short stories, In Our Time
In Our Time (book)
In Our Time is the first collection of short stories by Ernest Hemingway published by Boni & Liveright in New York in 1925, after a smaller edition of the book, titled in our time, had been published in Paris in 1924...

, of which Edmund Wilson wrote, "Hemingway's prose was of the first distinction". Wilson's comments were enough to bring attention to the young writer.
No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame. Mr. Hemingway knows how not only to make words be specific but how to arrange a collection of words which shall betray a great deal more than is to be found in the individual parts. It is magnificent writing.
The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

review of The Sun Also Rises, 31 October 1926.

Good reviews came in from many major publications. Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
Conrad Potter Aiken was an American novelist and poet, whose work includes poetry, short stories, novels, a play and an autobiography.-Early years:...

 wrote in the New York Herald Tribune
New York Herald Tribune
The New York Herald Tribune was a daily newspaper created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald.Other predecessors, which had earlier merged into the New York Tribune, included the original The New Yorker newsweekly , and the Whig Party's Log Cabin.The paper was home to...

, "If there is a better dialogue to be written today I do not know where to find it"; and Bruce Barton wrote in The Atlantic that Hemingway "writes as if he had never read anybody's writing, as if he had fashioned the art of writing himself", and that the characters "are amazingly real and alive". Many reviewers, among them H.L. Mencken, praised Hemingway's style, use of understatement, and tight writing.

Other critics, however, disliked the novel. The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

critic believed Hemingway's hard-boiled style was better suited to the short stories published in In Our Time than the newly published novel. Writing in the New Masses, Hemingway's friend John Dos Passos
John Dos Passos
John Roderigo Dos Passos was an American novelist and artist.-Early life:Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of John Randolph Dos Passos , a distinguished lawyer of Madeiran Portuguese descent, and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison of Petersburg, Virginia. The elder Dos Passos...

 asked: "What's the matter with American writing these days? .... The few unsad young men of this lost generation will have to look for another way of finding themselves than the one indicated here." Privately he wrote Hemingway an apology for the review. The reviewer for the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote of the novel, "The Sun Also Rises is the kind of book that makes this reviewer at least almost plain angry." Some reviewers disliked the characters, among them the reviewer for The Dial
The Dial
The Dial was an American magazine published intermittently from 1840 to 1929. In its first form, from 1840 to 1844, it served as the chief publication of the Transcendentalists. In the 1880s it was revived as a political magazine...

, who thought the characters were shallow and vapid, and The Nation and Atheneum
The Nation and Atheneum
The Nation and Atheneum or simply The Nation was a United Kingdom political weekly newspaper with a Liberal / Labour viewpoint. It was formed in 1921 from the merger of the Athenaeum, a literary magazine published in London since 1828 and the smaller and newer Nation.The enterprise was purchased...

deemed the characters boring and the novel unimportant. The reviewer for The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Cincinnati Enquirer, a daily morning newspaper, is the highest-circulation print publication in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati Enquirer, a daily morning newspaper, is the highest-circulation print publication in Greater Cincinnati (Ohio) and Northern Kentucky. The...

wrote of the book that it "begins nowhere and ends in nothing".

Hemingway's family hated it. The author's mother, Grace Hemingway, distressed that she could not face the criticism at her local book study class—where it was said that her son was "prostituting a great ability .... to the lowest uses"—clearly articulated her displeasure in a letter to him:
The critics seem to be full of praise for your style and ability to draw word pictures but the decent ones always regret that you should use such great gifts in perpetuating the lives and habits of so degraded a strata of humanity .... It is a doubtful honor to produce one of the filthiest books of the year .... What is the matter? Have you ceased to be interested in nobility, honor and fineness in life? .... Surely you have other words in your vocabulary than "damn" and "bitch"—Every page fills me with a sick loathing.


Nevertheless, the book sold well—young women began to emulate Brett and male students at Ivy League
Ivy League
The Ivy League is an athletic conference comprising eight private institutions of higher education in the Northeastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group...

 universities wanted to become "Hemingway heroes". Scribner's encouraged the publicity and allowed Hemingway to "become a minor American phenomenon"—a celebrity to the point that his divorce from Hadley and marriage to Pauline attracted media attention.

Reynolds believes The Sun Also Rises could only have been written in 1925: it perfectly captured the period between World War I and the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, and immortalized a group of characters. In the years since its publication the novel has been criticized for its anti-semitism, as shown in Cohn's characterization. Reynolds explains that although the publishers complained to Hemingway about his description of bulls, they allowed his use of Jewish epithets, which showed the degree to which anti-semitism was accepted in the US after World War I. Cohn represented the Jewish establishment and contemporary readers would have understood this from his description. Hemingway clearly makes Cohn unlikeable not only as a character but as a character who is Jewish. Likewise, Hemingway was seen as misogynistic and homophobic by critics in the 1970s and 1980s, although by the 1990s his work, including The Sun Also Rises, began to receive critical reconsideration by female scholars.

Legacy and adaptations

Hemingway's work continued to be popular in the latter half of the century and after his suicide in 1961. During the 1970s, The Sun Also Rises appealed to what Beegel calls the lost generation of the Vietnam era. Aldridge writes that The Sun Also Rises has kept its appeal because the novel is about being young. The characters live in the most beautiful city in the world, spend their days traveling, fishing, drinking, making love, and generally reveling in their youth. He believes the expatriate writers of the 1920s appeal for this reason, but that Hemingway was the most successful in capturing the time and the place in The Sun Also Rises.

Bloom says that some of the characters have not stood the test of time, writing that modern readers are uncomfortable with the anti-semitic treatment of Cohn's character and the romanticization of a bullfighter. Moreover, Brett and Mike belong uniquely to the Jazz Age
Jazz Age
The Jazz Age was a movement that took place during the 1920s or the Roaring Twenties from which jazz music and dance emerged. The movement came about with the introduction of mainstream radio and the end of the war. This era ended in the 1930s with the beginning of The Great Depression but has...

 and do not translate to the modern era. Bloom believes the novel is in the canon
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

 of American literature for its formal qualities: its prose and style.

The novel made Hemingway famous, inspired young ladies across America to wear short hair and sweater sets like the heroine's—and to act like her too—and changed writing style in ways that could be seen in any American magazine published in the next twenty years. In many ways the novel's stripped-down prose became a model for 20th-century American writing. Nagel writes that "The Sun Also Rises was a dramatic literary event and its effects have not diminished over the years".

The success of The Sun Also Rises guaranteed interest from Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 and Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

. In 1927 two Broadway producers wanted to adapt the story for the stage but no immediate offers were made. Hemingway considered marketing the story directly to Hollywood, telling his editor Max Perkins that he would not sell it for less than $30,000—money he wanted Hadley to have. Conrad Aiken
Conrad Aiken
Conrad Potter Aiken was an American novelist and poet, whose work includes poetry, short stories, novels, a play and an autobiography.-Early years:...

 thought the book was perfect for a film adaptation solely on the strength of dialogue. However, Hemingway would not see a stage or film adaption anytime soon: he sold the film rights to RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chains and Joseph P...

 in 1932, but only in 1956 was the novel adapted to a film of the same name
The Sun Also Rises (1957 film)
The Sun Also Rises is a 1957 film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name, with the screenplay written by Peter Viertel. It starred Tyrone Power, Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer and Errol Flynn. Much of it was filmed on location in France and Spain in Cinemascope and color by Deluxe...

 with Peter Viertel
Peter Viertel
Peter Viertel was an author and screenwriter.-Biography:He was born to Jewish parents in Dresden, Germany, the writer and actress Salka Viertel and the writer Berthold Viertel. In 1928, his parents moved to Santa Monica, California where Viertel grew up with his brothers, Hans and Thomas...

 writing the screenplay. The royalties
Royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 went to Hadley.

Hemingway wrote more books about bullfighting: Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon
Death in the Afternoon is a non-fiction book by Ernest Hemingway about the ceremony and traditions of Spanish bullfighting. It was originally published in 1932. The book provides a look at the history and what Hemingway considers the magnificence of bullfighting...

was published in 1932 and The Dangerous Summer
The Dangerous Summer
The Dangerous Summer is a book written by Ernest Hemingway published in 1985, which describes the rivalry between bullfighters Luis Miguel Dominguín and his brother-in-law Antonio Ordóñez during the "dangerous summer" of 1959...

was published posthumously in 1985. His depictions of Pamplona, beginning with The Sun Also Rises, helped to popularize the annual running of the bulls at the Festival of St. Fermin.

Sources

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    Carlos Baker
    Carlos Baker was an American writer, biographer and former Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University. He earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D at Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton respectively. Baker's published works included several novels and books of poetry and various literary...

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External links

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