The Sun Also Rises
How we cite our quotes:
"Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that." (2.7)
Jake opens up inadvertently here – we learn that he went through a stage of wandering simply to escape himself, also.
We ate dinner at Madame Lecomte’s restaurant on the far side of the island. It was crowded with Americans and we had to stand up and wait for a place. Some one had put it on the American Women’s Club list as a quaint restaurant on the Paris quais as yet untouched by Americans, so we had to wait forty-five minutes for a table. (8.21)
Jake’s disgust with his compatriots and with their rather sheep-like adherence to travel guides emerges here – he sees himself as totally different from the American tourists.
"You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You’re an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés."
‘It sounds like a swell life," I said. "When do I work?"
"You don’t work. One group claims women support you. Another group claims you’re impotent."
"No," I said. "I just had an accident." (12. 13)
Bill’s diatribe against expatriates (in itself a mockery of the typical American perspective), touches upon all of the stereotypes of expat life – it’s a caricature that’s recognizable, and, like so many things, it’s funny because it’s true.