*This Summary may contain spoilers
“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway is a story of love and loss that centers around the main character Jake Barnes, who is the narrator throughout the story. The story begins with Jake Barnes describing his friend Robert Cohn, describing his achievements in boxing and his time at Yale. The two go out to a bar where they run into an old love interest of Jake, Brett Ashley, who he met during World War I when she was a nurse that helped him treat his wounds. Jake and Brett talk and it is hinted that the wounds that Jake suffered in the war left him impotent, which is the reason Brett left him. Brett’s introduction then leads to a long line of her sneaking around with men, traveling across Spain and France, and causing men to fight for her. Nearly every man in this story want to or have been romantically involved with Brett. After all this running around Brett finally ends up with her fiance, Mike Campbell, who she had been cheating on throughout the entire story.
The final line of the book is said by Jake while he is taking Brett home from Madrid in response to Brett’s thought that her and Jake would’ve had a great life together; to which Jake responds,
” Yes, Isn’t it pretty to think so?” (Hemingway 247).
This line is the most famous in the book and I believe it completely encapsulates the whole idea of this story. This story is about chasing after something that is constantly out of reach, it’s about regret and loss of love and the extent a man will go to for the woman he loves. The book is prefaced by a quote from Gertrude Stein, ” You are all truly a lost generation”, this quote also fits this story perfectly. None of the characters have their lives in order and are just wandering around foreign countries with no real goal.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this book. I have always been a fan of Hemingway’s work, my favorite book is “the Old Man and the Sea”, and this just further solidified my love for his storytelling. If you have read Hemingway before you will notice a lot of his trademarks like his use of the simple sentence, or his way of describing a menial task in great detail. I highly recommend this book for Hemingway fans or fans of stories like ” the Great Gatsby” or any other post-WWI love stories. Even though I did really enjoy this book I wouldn’t say it is my favorite by Hemingway and there seems to be a few times where the story or dialogue drags. That being said, I believe this book is definitely worth a read.
“the Sun Also Rises” Ernest Hemingway 247 pages