Study Guide

The Sun Also Rises Book 2, Chapter 15

By Ernest Hemingway

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Book 2, Chapter 15

  • It’s party time! More specifically, it’s the Fiesta of San Fermin: seven wild days of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. Well, sorta—make that sexual tension, alcohol, and bullfighting. Jake observes that the streets are full of dancers, musicians, and a group of workers carrying a sign reading "Hurray for wine! Hurray for the foreigners!"
  • Jake is pushed from the streets into a wine shop along with Brett and Bill. Jake runs down the street to buy a big leather wine bottle. He comes back with two, one of which can hold over a gallon. Within minutes, they’re both filled and put to good use. He finds Brett, Mike, and Bill singing loudly in Spanish, eating, and generally living it up.
  • Cohn has passed out in the back of someone’s shop. Party foul! Fortunately, in a few hours he recovers.
  • After dinner and some more seriously hardcore partying, Jake crashes in Cohn’s room (since he’s cleverly lost his room key). He wakes up to the sound of the bulls being released at six a.m. to run from their corrals through Pamplona and into the bull ring. Jake watches the bulls from the balcony until the rest of the gang gets home. They all crash until noon.
  • The gang seat themselves for the bull-fight. Everyone tells Brett how to avoid freaking out about the gore, but the real wimp is obviously Cohn. He acts super macho and says he’s only concerned he’ll be bored, but he’s not fooling anyone. Bill seizes the opportunity to make some signature anti-Semitic remarks about Cohn.
  • Montoya introduces Jake and Bill to Pedro Romero, an up-and-coming young bull-fighter. Romero’s nineteen. He’s also super hot, and everyone knows it.
  • Bill and Jake go to their front row seats, and are terrifically impressed by Romero’s performance. Mike, Brett, and Cohn are sitting further from the ring, and they’re obviously keyed up, as well.
  • After it’s over, they retreat to the café for absinthe and post-fight discussion.
  • Brett, we learn, loved both the bull-fight and Romero… particularly Romero. She even comments on his green pants and insists on sitting closer for a better view (of the pants, and presumably the bulls, as well) during the next fight. Cohn is accused, as usual, of being a big wuss.
  • During the next fight, Jake describes the technicalities of Romero’s fighting to Brett. She sees and understands what’s going on in the ring. She’s even more into Romero now.
  • The next day’s bullfights are not as good, but the fiesta plows on all day and night.

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