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Free Study Guide-The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway-Free Book Notes
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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 7

Summary

At his flat, Jake finds a wire from his good friend Bill Gorton, who says he will be arriving soon. Jake also hears from his concierge that Brett and a gentleman have been to see him. The concierge, Madame Duzinell, has changed her opinion of Brett from the low opinion she had of Brett for making a racket the previous night to a high opinion of her now. She has decided that Brett comes from a very good family. Jake says that his concierge will not let any friends of his up to his room unless they appear to be wealthy. Jake takes a shower, symbolically trying to cleanse himself of his feelings of frustration over the events of the last two days. He is interrupted by Brett and the Count knocking on his door. Jake reminds Brett of their broken date at the Crillon, showing his continued frustration. She nonchalantly says she must have been drunk when she made the date. She also says she has given the concierge two hundred francs of the Count's money to make up for her poor behavior the night before. (The Lost Generation feels that money can solve almost any problem.)

Jake dresses while Brett pours drinks. He then sits on the bed feeling "tired and pretty rotten." When Brett comes in, he tells her he loves her. She asks if she should send the Count away, but Jake says no. She sends the Count out for champagne, so she can be alone to comfort Jake. Jake, feeling sad and momentarily weak, asks her if they could just live together. She says she would only deceive him and that he would not be able to stand it. He argues that he stands it now. In answer, she admits it is all her fault, explaining that "it's the way I'm made." Jake asks her to go away with him to the country for awhile, but she says she could not live quietly in the country. Jake agrees that she is right. Knowing that Jake is upset, Brett suggests they stop talking, for "talking's all bilge." She closes the conversation by saying that she plans to go away from Jake to San Sebastian and that her fiance, Michael, is soon returning. They then drink until the Count returns.


The Count returns and discusses the champagne, which he has obtained from a friend in the business whose name is Mumms and whose title is Baron. They then launch into a discussion of titles. The count disclaims having gotten any use out of his, but Brett disagrees, saying she has received a lot of advantages from her title. The count then reminds Brett that she will be losing her title with her divorce. He adds that the loss does not matter since "You don't need a title. You got class all over you." Brett refuses to take him seriously and says to Jake, "Isn't he a fool?" As she continues to drink, the Count tells Brett that she is the only person he knows who is as charming drunk as sober. She sarcastically answers that he must not have been around much. The Count protests this accusation and claims to have been in seven wars and four revolutions, receiving arrow wounds. Brett demands to see them. He opens his shirt to show her where the arrows went in and where they came out on his back. He claims to have received the wounds in Abyssinia when he was twenty-one years old. Brett turns to Jake and says again, "I told you he was one of us." They drink three bottles of champagne and then dine at a restaurant in the Bois. The count, unaware of Jake's wound, asks them why they do not marry. Jake says they want to lead their own lives, and Brett claims they both have careers. Brett is ready to leave the restaurant, but the Count insists on having a brandy. He orders the oldest bottle the restaurant carries, 1811. Brett calls him ostentatious.

They all go up to Montmartre and to Zelli's to dance. As Jake and Brett dance, she talks about her fiance Michael, and it is obvious that she does not really love him. She says she never writes letters to him and has not even thought of him for a week. When Jake and Brett dance again, Brett admits one more time, "I'm so miserable." It was Jake who was at a low-point at the beginning of the chapter, and it is Brett who is at her low-point at the end. Jake says he has the feeling that he is going through something that has happened before, "a nightmare of...something repeated, something....I must go through again."

Brett wants to leave, so Jake thanks the Count for the evening and takes Brett out of the club. As they depart, Jake notices that the Count has three women around him at his table. He, unlike Jake, will not miss Brett. When they arrive at Brett's, she tells Jake, "I won't see you again." They kiss, but she stops it from going forward. Jake rides home in the Count's limousine, tips the driver, and goes to bed without comment on the evening or his frustrations.

Notes

When Jake is at a low point, he usually sounds child-like, as he does when asking Brett, almost pathetically, if they could live together. He repeats this question several times during this chapter. Knowing Jake so well, Brett recognizes his frustrations and tries to comfort him. But she remains realistic and says, "There isn't any use my telling you I love you." Brett, more than Jake, has accepted the fact that things can never work between them. When Jake is finally strengthened again by her attention, Brett retreats and becomes drunk. A pattern begins to emerge between them that is often repeated in the novel. Their relationship is one of attraction, followed by frustration, and eventually by departure. Perhaps Jake's real frustration in this chapter comes from his recognition of this never ending pattern between them..

The Count is a strange figure in the novel. He seems to have acquired his money recently and displays it ostentatiously, but with taste and style. He is very generous with what he has; he buys excellent champagne and brandy to share and lends his limousine to have Brett and Jake chauffeured home. He wants to "acquire" Brett as another outward sign of his money, but he shows no jealousy over her interest in Jake or her leaving with him. He is not a petty man. Brett tells Jake twice that the count is "one of us," perhaps meaning that he too is a realist about life and a cynic over lost illusions. But Brett also recognizes the Count as a fool.

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