Summary and Analysis
The next morning, Jake, Bill, and Cohn stroll around Bayonne. Then they travel in a hired car across the border into Spain and on to Pamplona. During lunch, Cohn makes a bet with Bill that Brett and Mike will not arrive as planned, on the evening train. Jake picks up the tickets to the bullfights that he ordered ahead of time, then prays in the cathedral. In the middle of dinner, Jake and Cohn walk to the railroad station to meet Brett and Mike; as it turns out, they are not on the train, and Cohn wins his bet with Bill. The next morning, Bill shares with Jake his dislike of Cohn.
Hemingway continues to perpetuate the illusion that the story Jake tells is improvised and unedited, with statements like, "Cohn made some remark about [the cathedral] being a very good example of something or other, I forget what." Also, "Why I felt an impulse to devil him I do not know. Of course I do know." When we read about the man who sells the fishing tackle being out of his store, necessitating a long wait by Jake, Bill, and Cohn, we are fooled momentarily into believing that the events described really happened (perhaps to Hemingway). After all, why would someone bother to invent such a trivial detail?
The theme of payment continues in this chapter, with an accounting of various monetary transactions and a great deal of space devoted to the bet between Bill and Cohn. And Jake's rage toward Cohn, because Cohn slept with Brett, begins to manifest itself: "I have never seen a man in civil life as nervous as Robert Cohn — nor as eager. I was enjoying it." Later, he is even more explicit: "I certainly did hate him." Again, if Jake can't have Brett, then he wants a man worthy of her to do so, not the boyish Cohn. The Count seemed to qualify — as will the matador Pedro Romero a few chapters on.
Book II of The Sun Also Rises takes place mainly in an area of northeast Spain/southwest France occupied by a people known as the Basques. Inventive, eccentric, and fanatically independent, the Basque peasants stand in sharp contrast to the followers of fashion we encountered in Paris.
The Hemingway style bursts into bloom with Jake's description of the car trip from Bayonne to Pamplona. Notice once again the emphasis on the concrete and specific, as well as the writer's use of a very limited vocabulary. Note as well that the truism about Hemingway's use of short sentences exclusively is inaccurate. He was fond as well of long compound sentences, like this one:
"After a while we came out of the mountains, and there were trees along both sides of the road, and a stream and ripe fields of grain, and the road went on, very white and straight ahead, and then lifted to a little rise, and off on the left was a hill with an old castle, with buildings close around it and a field of grain going right up to the walls and shifting in the wind."
In the description later of Jake's visit to the cathedral, Hemingway employs the stream-of-consciousness technique that he borrowed from Joyce. All told, the writer's style was much more varied than he is generally given credit for.
sprinkling the streets wetting dirt streets to discourage clouds of dust from rising.
drygoods cloth, cloth products, thread, and so on.
Syndicat d'Initiative tourists' information bureau.
duster a lightweight coat worn to protect the clothes from dust, as formerly in open automobiles.
Basques a people living in the western Pyrenees of Spain and France.
pelota jai alai; a game like handball, played with a curved basket fastened to the arm, for catching the ball and hurling it against the wall.
carabineers a soldier armed with a carbine (a rifle).
Bonaparte hats hats like those worn by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), a French military leader and emperor of France (1804–1815), born in Corsica.
kepi a cap with a flat round top and a stiff visor, worn by French soldiers.
gunny-sacking a sack or bag made of gunny, a coarse, heavy fabric of jute or hemp.
peseta the basic monetary unit of Spain.
Café Iruña a café that still stands on the Plaza del Castillo in Pamplona.
Ayuntamiento town hall.
baize a thick woolen cloth made to resemble felt and often dyed green, used to cover billiard tables.
baggage-truck a handcart used for moving luggage.
darb a person or thing regarded as remarkable or excellent.
thrown on every screen projected onto every movie screen.
Irati River River in the Basque region of Spain.