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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

BOOK III

CHAPTER 19

Summary

It is morning and the fiesta is over. Jake sits in the café, and Bill joins him. Montoya comes nowhere close to their table. Jake tells Bill he plans to go to San Sebastian for a week. They decide to get a car and go together to Bayonne and then part ways. Mike joins them.

They leave Spain and travel down to the Basque country and into Bayonne. They drive to Biarritz and have a drink. Mike insists on paying until he runs out of money. When he realizes Mike has no money, Bill offers to cash Mike a check, but Mike cannot accept the offer since he is bankrupt. He says all will soon be well, for he is expecting money to arrive. Mike then reveals that Brett has no money either.

The three of them drive along the coast until it is time to drop Mike off and return to France. Jake and Bill return to Bayonne in time for Bill to catch his train. Jake takes a room at the hotel. He eats a big meal, drinks a bottle of wine and a glass of liqueur, and overtips the waiter. He says it feels "comfortable to be in a country where it is so simple to make people happy. Everything is on such a clear financial basis in France." The next morning he tips everyone a little too much again. He then catches a train to San Sebastian.


In San Sebastian, he gets a room at a hotel, makes arrangements for his mail to be forwarded to him from Hotel Montoya, and notifies his office of where he is. He goes swimming and dives to the bottom with his eyes open and finds it to be dark and green. The next day he swims again and says it felt as though he could never sink. When he returns to his hotel, he receives a message from Brett saying that she is at the Hotel Montana in Madrid. "I am rather in trouble, Brett." Jake sends her a message notifying her that he will arrive by express tomorrow.

Jake finds Brett in bed. He embraces her and kisses her; but he feels that while she kisses him, she is thinking of something else. She tells Jake that she has made Romero leave. He wanted her to grow her hair long so she would be more womanly. He also wanted to marry her and have children. She tells Jake she is "not going to be one of those bitches that ruins children." She cries and tells Jake that she is going back to Mike.

They leave the hotel, arrange for an express out of Madrid, and go for drinks. Again, Brett cannot lift the glass until after the first sip. She says it "makes one feel good deciding not to be a bitch. It's sort of what we have instead of God." After drinks, they go to lunch. Brett does not eat much, but Jake eats a very big meal and drinks three bottles of wine. She insists on his not getting drunk, saying "you don't have to. You'll be all right." They decide to take a taxi to drive through and see Madrid. Brett sits close to Jake.. She says "Oh, Jake. We could have had such a damned good time together." He notices that ahead there is a mounted policeman directing traffic with a raised baton. He replies in the last words of the novel, "Yes, isn't it pretty to think so?"

Notes

Jake is comfortable being back in France where tipping waiters wins him friends; these thoughts indicate his current discomfort with Spain where more spiritual qualities, such as loyalty and constancy, win friends. He knows he has compromised both of these in Pamplona. When Jake goes back to San Sebastian in Spain, he is at rock bottom. He swims, in a symbolic effort to cleanse himself of his shame, but it does not help. All he sees is darkness at the bottom of the pool. And that darkness is soon to intensify once again because of Brett.

At the end, Jake is offered once again to repeat the cycle of his relationship with Brett. She offers him the romantic illusion that they could have been happy. Whether he takes the hook is unclear. First, interposed between her words and his, is the description of the policeman with a raised baton, almost warning Jake to stay away from Brett and symbolizing Jake's loss of sexual (phallic) power. Then there are Jake's final words spoken with the same kind of ironic cynicism with which he speaks about many things. Perhaps they reveal that he no longer has faith that they would have been happy even without their respective wounds, which have kept them apart. Perhaps his words reveal that he will begin the cycle with her again. Maybe the sun will rise again.

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