© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

Quotes

Quote #7

"You wouldn’t believe it. It’s like a wonderful nightmare."

"Sure," I said. "I’d believe anything. Including nightmares."

"What’s the matter? Feel low?"

"Low as hell."

"Have another absinthe. Here, waiter! Another absinthe for this señor."

"I feel like hell," I said.

"Drink that," said Bill. "Drink it slow."

It was beginning to get dark. The fiesta was going on. I began to feel drunk but I did not feel any better.

"How do you feel?"

"I feel like hell."

"Have another?"

"It won’t do any good."

"Try it. You can’t tell; maybe this is the one that gets it. Hey, waiter! Another absinthe for this señor!" (18.53)

Following the Brett-Romero-Cohn drama, the only thing Jake can fall back on is alcohol – however, this time even booze doesn’t do the trick. What he needs, clearly, is something to cure rather than simply cover up his problems.

Quote #8

I drank a bottle for wine for company. It was a Château Margaux. It was pleasant to be drinking slowly and to be tasting the wine and to be drinking alone. A bottle of wine was good company. (19.14)

After the fiesta, Jake returns to alcohol, but it’s different – there’s something less alarming to him about drinking alone, at his own pace, and without the complicating factors of his friends.

Quote #9

"It’s funny what a wonderful gentility you can get in the bar of a big hotel," I said.

"Barmen and jockeys are the only people who are polite anymore."

"No matter how vulgar a hotel is, the bar is always nice." (19.53)

Brett and Jake hang on to an old-fashioned idea of gentility associated with hotel bars (and curiously enough, horse racing) – in this scene, the hotel bar is a place of refuge from the pressures of the outside world and the consequences of Brett’s actions.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
back to top