The Sun Also Rises Chapters 1-5 Summary

     The Sun Also Rises is a modernist novel published in 1926 about a group of American and British expatriates who travel from Paris to a fiesta in Pamplona, Spain.

     Chapter 1 opens the novel with the description of a character named Robert Cohn, delivered in first person by a so far unidentified protagonist. Cohn grew up part of a wealthy Jewish family in New York, and went on to have success as a middleweight boxing champion at Princeton University. After graduating, Cohn is self-conscious partly due to his nose being broken boxing, and is unhappily married for five years before his wife leaves him. Following their divorce, Cohn becomes involved in the arts and meets a woman named Frances, who wishes to marry him, and convinces him to move to Europe, where he meets the narrator, Jake Barnes, in Paris.

     Robert Cohn has written a novel that Barnes describes as poor, but it is praised by an American publisher, which inflates his ego. He is subsequently dealing with restlessness, and tries to convince Jake to go travelling with him, but Jake seems satisfied to stay in Paris working as a journalist, and declines the invitations.

     The novel's third chapter opens with Jake sitting alone on a terrace after a discussion with Robert, when he catches the eye of a prostitute, Georgette, who sits down to join him. After having a drink together, Jake and Georgette catch a cab to go to a restaurant. In the cab, Georgette tries to kiss Jacob, but he declines, saying he is sick. While eating dinner, Georgette presses Jacob about his sickness, and he vaguely explains that he was hurt in the war. Jake is then called over by a friend named Braddocks, who is sitting with a group of people including Richard Cohn and Frances, and they invite Jake and Georgette to join them at a dance club.

     At the dance club, they drink and dance, and a friend of Jake's named Brett arrives with her homosexual friends, who Jake does not like. They are amused at the sight of Georgette, and end up dancing with her. With Georgette occupied, Jacob speaks to Brett and Robert Cohn at the bar. While Robert is clearly taken with Brett, and asks her to dance, she declines and dances with Jacob instead. While they dance, Brett asks Jacob to leave with her, and they go outside to catch a taxi.

     Once in a taxi, Jacob kisses Brett, but she soon pushes him away. They have a conversation about how they love each other, but discuss the unnamed reason why they cannot be together. Jacob insists it's really something funny they should be laughing about, and Brett admits to doing so when a friend of her brother's came back from the Battle Of Mons the same way as Jacob. They settle on having the taxi take them to another cafe, and when they arrive, many of their friends from the dance are there. Jacob is told that Georgette had a fight with the club owner's daughter. Jacob decides to go home, and makes plans to see Brett the next day at five o'clock.

     When Jacob goes home, he lies in bed and thinks about his injury during the war. While Jacob had been recuperating in the hospital, an Italian liaison came to visit him, and told him that he had given more than his life. Jacob was shipped to England when he was better, which is where he met Brett. Jacob supposes Brett only wants what she can't have, strongly suggesting that Jacob's injury has compromised his sexual function. Jacob falls asleep but is awoken by sounds of Brett drunkenly arguing with the concierge at his building. Brett comes in for a drink, and invites Jacob to come out with her and her friend Count Mippipopolous, who Jake met earlier at the dance club. Jacob declines to join them, having to work in the morning, and kisses Brett goodbye when she leaves.

     Chapter five opens the following morning, with Jacob going to his job at the newspaper. Jacob attends a press conference, and Robert Cohn is waiting for him at the office upon his return. The two men go out for lunch, and Robert asks about Brett. Jacob tells him that Brett is getting a divorce, and is going to marry a man named Mike Campbell, who is currently in Scotland. Robert gushes about how attractive Brett is, and wonders if he's in love with her, but Jacob tries to discourage him by calling Brett a drunk. Robert asks more questions, causing Jacob to explain that he met Brett when she was a volunteer nurse in a hospital during the war, and that Brett married her husband, Lord Ashely, during the war, after her previous love died of dysentery. The discussion becomes heated, because Robert feels Jacob is insulting Brett, prompting Jacob to tell Robert to go to hell. Jacob eventually apologizes, and the two men leave the restaurant together.

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