The Sun Also Rises
Drugs and Alcohol Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"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."
"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.
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.
"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.