Summary and Analysis Chapter V



The next morning, Jake walks to work, attends a news conference, and shares a cab with two fellow correspondents back to the office, where Robert Cohn awaits. They go out to lunch, during which Cohn quizzes Jake about Brett and speculates that he may be in love with her. They quarrel briefly, then make up, after which Cohn says that Jake is his best friend.


The plot moves forward in Chapter V, as Cohn announces his attraction to Brett. Additionally, Cohn's questions to Jake provide Hemingway with an opportunity to share background on Brett. According to Jake, she is thirty-four years old and seeking a divorce from her second husband, the British Lord Ashley, so she can marry a Scotsman named Mike Campbell. Jake also says that Brett is "a drunk."

Significantly, Brett was a kind of nurse during World War I — which is to say that, like Jake, she is a veteran. Not only that; Brett's "own true love" died during wartime. She has experienced a tragic romance. Again, Cohn did not serve in the Great War, and his relations with women have been prosaic.

The start of this chapter offers the best example so far of the Hemingway style. Notice the short sentences ("It was a fine morning"), and the emphasis on specificity (so many place names, for a single paragraph) and on concrete detail. Also note the intentional repetition: "All along people were going to work. It felt pleasant to be going to work." Later in Chapter V, most of the text is dialogue — and untagged dialogue, at that (no "he said" or "I said"). This, too, was a Hemingway innovation.


Boulevard here, the Boulevard St. Michel.

Rue Soufflot a street running from the Luxembourg gardens to the Pantheon.

brioche a light, rich roll made with flour, butter, eggs, and yeast.

Luxembourg gardens formal gardens behind the Palais du Luxembourg, west of the Latin Quarter.

the Sorbonne the University of Paris; specifically, the seat of the faculties of letters and science.

the Madeleine a church at the opposite end of the Rue Royal from the Place de la Concorde, on the Right Bank.

Boulevard des Capucines an avenue connecting the Boulevard de la Madeleine with the Place de l'Opera, on the Right Bank.

Opéra L'Opera Garnier, rococo opera house created by Charles Garnier.

CINZANO brand of aperitif.

Quai d'Orsay a street running alongside the Left Bank of the Seine, north of the Invalides district

Nouvelle Revue Française (French) New French Revision.

Lyons the English name for Lyon, a city in east-central France, at the juncture of the Rhone and Salone rivers.

The Dingo a Parisian café.

file that line he got off this morning report on the news conference mentioned earlier.

franc the basic monetary unit of France.

sommelier the person in a restaurant or club who is responsible for the selection and serving of wines, especially with French cuisine; wine steward.

V.A.D. Volunteer Air Detachment.

dysentery any of various intestinal inflammations characterized by abdominal pain and frequent and intense diarrhea with bloody, mucous feces.

Café de la Paix a Parisian café, the name of which means, significantly, Café of Peace.