Study Guide

The Sun Also Rises Exile

By Ernest Hemingway

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Book 1, Chapter 2
Jake Barnes

"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.

Book 2, Chapter 8

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.

Book 2, Chapter 12
Bill Gorton

"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.

Book 2, Chapter 15
Robert Cohn

"Hurray for Wine! Hurray for the Foreigners!" was painted on the banner.

"Who are the foreigners?" Robert Cohn asked.

"We’re the foreigners," Bill said. (15.6)

Cohn, with characteristic confusion, doesn’t get that they are the outsiders in Spain—his self-centered vacation mentality is that Spain is there for their use.

Book 2, Chapter 16
Jake Barnes

"They’re a fine lot," I said. "There’s one American woman down here now that collects bull-fighters." (16.8)

Again, Jake separates himself from the other Americans—he’s not limited to their view of the world. If anything, he’s disgusted by it.

Book 2, Chapter 18

Big motor-cars from Biarritz and San Sebastian kept driving up and parking around the square. They brought people for the bull-fight. Sight-seeing cars came up, too. There was one with twenty-five Englishwomen in it. They sat in the big, white car and looked through their glasses at the fiesta. (18.1)

Jake feels alienated from the tourists who come to watch the bull-fights from a distance; this difference makes it impossible for him to identify with them.

The Biarritz crowd did not like it. They thought Romero was afraid, and that was why he gave that little sidestep each time as he transferred the bull’s charge from his own body to the flannel. They preferred Belmonte’s imitation of himself or Marcial’s imitation of Belmonte. (18.36)

The American tourists visiting from the resort town of Biarritz are laughable in their misinterpretation of Romero’s style, and Jake can’t contain his disdain for his fellow countrymen yet again.

Book 3, Chapter 19

I hated to leave France. Life was so simple in France. I felt I was a fool to be going back into Spain. In Spain you could not tell about anything. (19.17)

France, for Jake, is a safe place—after the botched fiesta and Jake’s role in getting Brett and Romero together, perhaps France is a refuge simply because it’s free from these guilty associations. We wonder if that’s how he ended up in Paris in the first place.

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