The Sun Also Rises Important Characters

Jake Barnes

An American expatriate living in Paris and working as a journalist, Jake Barnes is a veteran of the first world war, during which he suffered an injury that left him impotent. Throughout the novel, Jake's love for Brett causes him anguish, as he is her friend and confidant during a series of affairs with several other men. Jake tries to be a peacekeeper and dispenses advice when his friends are in trouble, but he is plagued by feelings of jealousy at Brett's relationships with the other men, and in turn feels guilt over this jealousy. Somewhat of an observer, Jake is often not involved in the conflicts, but rather watches them or tries to diffuse them, and seems to be the most stable amongst his group of hard-drinking, financially irresponsible friends.

Brett, Lady Ashley

A British socialite in her early thirties, Brett is a beautiful woman who drinks heavily and seems to have a sort of power over men. Brett is in love with Robert, but doesn't feel she can have a relationship with him due to his impotence. Divorced from Lord Ashley, who was abusive, Brett is engaged to marry Mike, but also carries on affairs with Robert and Pedro. With her short hair and partying lifestyle, Brett is symbolic of the New Woman, or the flapper generation, who were becoming more liberated in terms of sexuality and conventions of appearance.

Robert Cohn

An American from a rich, Jewish family, Robert Cohn has been insecure for most of his life, and this has dictated his relationship patterns. After falling in love and spending a vacation with Brett, Robert becomes obsessive, which causes fights between Robert, Mike, and Jake. Robert is often discriminated against because he is Jewish, and further considered less of a man for having no war experience.

Bill Gorton

Jake's American friend from the war, Bill is a very heavy drinker, but a good friend to Jake and most of the other characters. Bill often expresses his dislike for Robert, which is rooted in Robert being Jewish.

Mike Campbell

A Scottish man and Brett's fiancé, Mike is drunk the most often, and frequently becomes argumentative and belligerent. His outbursts are usually directed towards Robert, as Mike is aware of Brett's affair with him, and this causes insecurity in Mike.

Pedro Romero

A handsome, nineteen-year-old bull fighter, Pedro is exceptionally talented, and admired by both Jake and Brett. Pedro falls in love with Brett and takes her away with him, but their relationship dissolves soon afterward. Compared to Jake and his friends, Pedro's life represents purpose and the fruits of dedicated passion as opposed to aimless partying.


The owner of the hotel in Pamplona and a bull fighting aficionado, Montoya initially respects Jake, but loses that respect once Jake instigates Pedro's relationship with Brett.

Frances Clyne

Robert's girlfriend in the beginning of the novel, Frances desperately wants to get married, and becomes irate when Robert plans to leave her.

Count Mippipopolous

A friend of Brett's in Paris who is very wealthy, the Count show affection for Brett in a non-possessive way, setting him apart from the rest of the men.

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