Study Guide

The Sun Also Rises Book 2, Chapter 16

By Ernest Hemingway

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Book 2, Chapter 16

  • A few days later Jake chats with Montoya about Romero while he shaves before dinner. Montoya has a dilemma: he’s received a telegram inviting Romero to go and hang out with the American ambassador and his bevy of dissolute friends. He’s worried that Romero will fall in with the wrong crowd and it’ll ruin his fighting. He and Jake agree not to tell Romero about the invitation.
  • Jake heads to the café to meet his friends, but they’re well ahead of him with their drinking and he feels sober and awkward. There, he runs into Romero who introduces him to a Spanish bull-fighting critic, and the three get into a deep aficionados-only discussion of the art of the bull-fight. Brett hassles Jake for an introduction, and he reluctantly gives in.
  • Jake plays translator and frequently edits the drunken commentary of his friends for Romero and the critic. Romero and Brett flirt over drinks.
  • Montoya comes in, sees what’s happening, and leaves without a word—he clearly feels betrayed by Jake, especially after their earlier discussion about Romero.
  • After Romero and the critic leave, drunken Mike takes another jab at Cohn. Cohn perversely enjoys the heroism of the situation—to him, there’s something romantic about this drama over his affair with Brett. Everyone else is a little sickened. Jake thinks fast and grabs Cohn away before a fight breaks out.
  • Soon they reunite and meet up with a woman Bill met in Biarritz. Mike wants to go watch the English tourists (being Scottish, he professes to hate the English).
  • Bill, his lady friend, and Mike go off to "festa the English," whatever that means. Brett tells Cohn to leave and then complains about him to Jake. Jake tries to act all noble and suave and say the right thing. As they leave the bar for a walk, Cohn is loitering outside. Suspicion confirmed: total stalker.
  • Brett asks Jake if he still loves her. He says yes. In the very next words that come out of her mouth she tells to Jake that she’s in love with Romero. Bad timing. She asks for his help in finding Romero.
  • They locate Romero sitting at a café with a table of other bullfighters. Jake watches Brett and Romero flirt. They’re going to hook up, and everyone knows it. Jake leaves briefly, and when he returns, his companions have deserted him. The bullfighters at the other table regard him menacingly as he leaves alone.

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