The Sun Also Rises
How we cite our quotes:
Also Belmonte imposed conditions and insisted that his bulls should not be too large, nor too dangerously armed with horns, and so the element that was necessary to give the sensation of tragedy was not there, and the public, who wanted three times as much from Belmonte, who was sick with a fistula, as Belmonte had ever been able to give, felt defrauded and cheated, and Belmonte’s jaw came further out in contempt, and his face turned yellower, and he moved with greater difficulty as his pain increased, and finally the crowd were actively against him, and he was utterly contemptuous and indifferent. (18.30)
The crowd can sense Belmonte’s inauthenticity, and knows that he is only imitating himself. His performance has become a parody of his past identity.
During Romero’s first bull his hurt face had been very noticeable. Everything he did showed it. All the concentration of the awkwardly delicate working with the bull that could not see well brought it out. The fight with Cohn had not touched his spirit but his face had been smashed and his body hurt. He was wiping all that out now. Each thing that he did with this bull wiped that out a little cleaner. (18.42)
Romero, unlike any of the other characters, is able to heal himself. The purity of his passion for the bullfight allows him to re-center himself spiritually through the act of fighting, despite the physical damage he sustained in his brawl with Cohn.
"You know it makes me feel rather good deciding not to be a bitch."
"It’s sort of what we have instead of God."
"Some people have God," I said. "Quite a lot." (19.55)
After leaving Romero, Brett finally feels as though she’s done something right, even if it makes her miserable; this gives her a sense of some kind of spiritual wholeness for the first time, which she puts in the place of God. Jake, whose faith perseveres throughout the novel, corrects her when she implies that nobody believes in God in their world.