Fiesta - The Sun Also Rises

Englisch - Heimlekt├╝re

Fiesta - The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway

Jake Barnes is the narrator and the "hero" of the novel. The other main characters are Robert Cohn, Lady Ashley, Bill Gorton and Mike Campbell.
Jake and Robert were together in Princeton. Cohn is a member of one of the richest Jewish families in New York. Jake describes him as a very shy, friendly and nice person. After Princeton Robert married and became father of three children. Five years later his wife left him and Robert went with Frances, his new girlfriend, to Paris where he met Jake Barnes. Jake works for a newspaper and Robert is a successful writer of novels.
Lady Ashley is also one of the main characters. She is a very beautiful woman of the age of thirty - four. Some years before Jake fell in love with Brett and is still powerfully in love with her. Brett loves him too but she does not want to have a relationship with him because he is impotent. Both Brett and Jake know that any relationship beyond a friendship cannot be pursued. Despite Brett’s love for Jake, she is engaged to marry Mike Campbell. Mike is a nice man but he cannot control himself when he gets drunk. Cohn has also a short affair with Brett. He is very proud of it and he believes that they are destined for ideal love. But Brett just used Cohn to satisfy her sexual cravings. Robert ignores the truth and continues to love Brett. The situation is very complicated because Robert, Jake and Mike love Brett.
One day the group of "friends" and Bill, a friend of Jake’s, decided to go to the Fiesta in Pamplona. Robert was already in Spain. Bill and Jake wanted first to go to Burguete in the mountains because they are fond of fishing. So the group of Americans decided to meet at the hotel Montoya in Pamplona.
After a great time in Burguete Bill and Jake went back to Pamplona. On the same day Mike and Brett arrived. In the evening Mike got very drunk. He told Robert that he should stop running after Brett and that he was not wanted there.
At noon of Sunday, the 6thof July, the Fiesta "exploded". People from all over the world were there to watch the great spectacle. The star of the Fiesta was Pedro Romero. He is a nineteen years old bullfighter. Montoya, the owner of the hotel, introduced Pedro to Brett and Jake. Brett fell in love with him from the moment she saw him the first time. She asked Jake what to do and he told her to follow her heart.
One evening there was a rumble between Cohn, Jake and Mike who had tried to help Jake. They had no chance because Robert had been a middleweight boxing champion in Princeton. On the same evening Robert went to Romero and tried to knock him down too but he couldn’t and Cohn gave up. So he went back to Paris. Mike realised that Brett was in love with Romero and he stopped running after her too.

Some days later the Fiesta was over. All of a sudden the dancers in the streets and the whole crowd were gone. Brett and Pedro Romero went to Madrid, Bill went back to Paris, Mike returned to the United States and Jake went to San Sebastian. After some time of swimming and relaxing, Jake got a message from Brett. The message said that she was in troubles. Jake took the next train to Madrid. At the Hotel Montana Jake met Brett and she told him that she had left Romero. Pedro insisted on marrying her but he was too young and Brett knew that she could ruin him. So Jake and Brett travelled back to Paris.

Jake Barnes is a hero but not a typical Hemingway hero. He is challenged by his impotence and that is very hard for a "man" because the traditional ways in which masculinity are defined are insufficient and impossible for him. I think that with this character Hemingway questions the social meaning of men.
I enjoyed reading the book very much like all books written by Ernest Hemingway.

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