Hemingway Page for Spring Break Reading

Use the table to navigate your way through Hemingway's novel that was also a seminal work of modernism; just as we learned about romanticism in the fall and realism in the winter, we will have fun exploring work of modernism this spring. Click on the Modernism link to see the poems and prose works that we will study; you can also see the major points of modernism that will help us add context to the works that we read.You will find that there are many fragmentary moments in this narration, particularly when Jake is living life out of balance. Click on the modernism page to find out how the reader is required to put the narrative puzzle together is the author's motive from the start.

Terms Reading Questions Modernism



The following words/terms are in order of appearance from the three books

in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

featherweight: 1 : one that is very light in weight; especially : a boxer in a weight division having a maximum limit of 126 pounds for professionals and 125 pounds for amateurs
middleweight: one of average weight; specifically : a boxer in a weight division having a maximum limit of 160 pounds for professionals and 165 pounds for amateurs

verify: 1 : to confirm or substantiate in law by oath 2 : to establish the truth, accuracy, or reality of
aperitif: an alcoholic drink taken before a meal as an appetizer

Pernod: a French liqueur

compatriot: a person born, residing, or holding citizenship in the same country as another

concierge: (see below)

grievance: 1 obsolete : SUFFERING, DISTRESS 2 : a cause of distress (as an unsatisfactory working condition) felt to afford reason for complaint or resistance 3 : the formal expression of a grievance

liaison: 1 a : a close bond or connection : INTERRELATIONSHIP b : an illicit sexual relationship : AFFAIR 3 a : communication for establishing and maintaining mutual understanding and cooperation (as between parts of an armed force) b : one that establishes and maintains liaison

livery: 1 archaic : the apportioning of provisions especially to servants : ALLOWANCE 2 a : the distinctive clothing or badge formerly worn by the retainers of a person of rank b : a servant's uniform c : distinctive dress : GARB d chiefly British : an identifying design (as on a vehicle) that designates ownership 3 archaic a : one's retainers or retinue b : the members of a British livery company 4 : the act of delivering legal possession of property

manipulate: 1 : to treat or operate with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner 2 a : to manage or utilize skillfully b : to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage 3 : to change by artful or unfair means so as to serve one's purpose : DOCTOR

semaphore : 1 : an apparatus for visual signaling (as by the position of one or more movable arms)2 : a system of visual signaling by two flags held one in each hand

chic: 1 : smart elegance and sophistication especially of dress or manner : STYLE <wears her clothes with superb chic> 2 : a distinctive mode of dress or manner associated with a fashionable lifestyle, ideology, or pursuit

platonic: 1 capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of Plato or Platonism 2 a : relating to or based on platonic love; also : experiencing or professing platonic love b : of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex

perish: 1 : to become destroyed or ruined : DIE <recollection of a past already long since perished -- Philip Sherrard> <guard against your mistakes or your attempts (perish the thought) to cheat -- C. B. Davis> 2 chiefly British : DETERIORATE, SPOIL
1 chiefly British : to cause to die : DESTROY 2 : WEAKEN, BENUMB

magnum: a large wine bottle holding about 1.5 liters

sommelier: (see below)

ostentatious: marked by or fond of conspicuous or vainglorious and sometimes pretentious display. synonym :SHOWY

juncture: 1 a : JOINT, CONNECTION b : the manner of transition or mode of relationship between two consecutive sounds in speech 2 : an instance of joining : UNION, JUNCTION 3 : a point of time; especially : one made critical by a concurrence of circumstances

daunting: to lessen the courage of

ladle: 1 : a deep-bowled long-handled spoon used especially for dipping up and conveying liquids 2 : something resembling a ladle in form or function

steward: 1 : one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns (as the supervision of servants, collection of rents, and keeping of accounts) 2 : SHOP STEWARD 3 : a fiscal agent 4 a : an employee on a ship, airplane, bus, or train who manages the provisioning of food and attends passengers b : one appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of food and drink in an institution 5 : one who actively directs affairs : MANAGER

corridor: 1 : a passageway (as in a hotel) into which compartments or rooms open 2 : a usually narrow passageway or route: as a : a narrow strip of land through foreign-held territory b : a restricted lane for air traffic 3 : a densely populated strip of land including two or more major cities

pelota: 1 : a court game related to jai alai 2 : the ball used in jai alai
carabineer: a cavalry soldier armed with a carbine
archivist: a person in charge of archives
peseta: Spanish, from diminutive of peso

Basque: 1 : a member of a people inhabiting the western Pyrenees on the Bay of Biscay
2 : the language of the Basques of unknown relationship 3 not capitalized : a tight-fitting bodice for women

sod: 1 : TURF 1; also : the grass- and surface of the ground 2 : one's native land
expatriate: 1 : to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one's native country 2 : BANISH, EXILE intransitive senses : to leave one's native country to live elsewhere; also : to renounce allegiance to one's native country
sallow: of a grayish greenish yellow color

fiesta: a saint's day celebrated in Spain and Latin America with processions and dances
monastic: 1 : of or relating to monasteries or to monks or nuns 2 : resembling (as in seclusion or ascetic simplicity) life in a monastery

gentry: 1 a obsolete : the qualities appropriate to a person of gentle birth; especially : COURTESY b : the condition or rank of a gentleman 2 a : upper or ruling class : ARISTOCRACY b : a class whose members are entitled to bear a coat of arms though not of noble rank; especially : the landed proprietors having such status 3 : people of a specified class or kind : FOLKS
matador: a bullfighter who has the principal role and who kills the bull in a bullfight
contortion: to twist in a violent manner <features contorted with fury>
intransitive senses : to twist into or as if into a strained shape or expression

swath: 1 a : a row of cut grain or grass left by a scythe or mowing machine b : the sweep of a scythe or a machine in mowing or the path cut in one course 2 : a long broad strip or belt 3 : a stroke of or as if of a scythe 4 : a space devastated as if by a scythe

plateau: 1 a : a usually extensive land area having a relatively level surface raised sharply above adjacent land on at least one side : TABLELAND b : a similar undersea feature 2 a : a region of little or no change in a graphic representation b : a relatively stable level, period, or condition 3 : a level of attainment or achievement

arcade: 1 : a long arched building or gallery 2 : an arched covered passageway or avenue (as between shops) 3 : a series of arches with their columns or piers
4 : an amusement center having coin-operated games
luminous: 1 a : emitting or reflecting usually steady, suffused, or glowing light b : of or relating to light or to luminous flux 2 : bathed in or exposed to steady light <luminous with sunlight> 3 : CLEAR, ENLIGHTENING

baton: 1 : BILLY CLUB 2 : a staff borne as a symbol of office 3 : a narrow heraldic bend
4 : a slender rod with which a leader directs a band or orchestra 5 : a hollow cylinder carried by each member of a relay team and passed to the succeeding runner 6 : a hollow metal rod with a weighted bulb at one or both ends that is flourished or twirled by a drum major or drum majorette
picador: a horseman in a bullfight who jabs the bull with a lance to weaken its neck and shoulder muscles

barrera: (see below)

contemptuous : manifesting, feeling, or expressing contempt
pivot: 1 : a shaft or pin on which something turns 2 a : a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect b : a key player or position; specifically : an offensive position of a basketball player standing usually with back to the basket to relay passes, shoot, or provide a screen for teammates 3 : the action of pivoting

veronica: (see below)

mystification: 1 : an act or instance of mystifying 2 : the quality or state of being mystified 3 : something designed to mystify

kiosk: 1 an open summerhouse or pavilion 2 : a small structure with one or more open sides that is used to vend merchandise (as newspapers) or services (as film developing)
apportion: to divide and share out according to a plan; especially : to make a proportionate division or distribution of

armoire: a usually tall cupboard or wardrobe

trough: 1 a : a long shallow often V-shaped receptacle for the drinking water or feed of domestic animals b : any of various domestic or industrial containers 2 a : a conduit, drain, or channel for water; especially : a gutter along the eaves of a building b : a long and narrow or shallow channel or depression (as between waves or hills); especially : a long but shallow depression in the bed of the sea -- compare TRENCH 3 : the minimum point of a complete cycle of a periodic function: as a : an elongated area of low barometric pressure b : the low point in a business cycle
buoyant: having buoyancy : as a : capable of floating b : CHEERFUL, GAY c : capable of recovering : having positive indications


Reading Questions (these are optional and may help you focus on the important issues)

1. One of Hemingway's original titles for the book was The Lost Generation. In what ways are the people in the novel lost? In what ways has expatriate life in Paris corrupted the characters?

2. What do we learn about Jake's insecurities and conceptions of masculinity from his attitudes towards Robert Cohn and the gays at the dance club (28-29)?

3. Why do you think Jake picks up Georgette? (See pp. 22-28.) What do you think it takes to be "one of us" (40, 67)?
Why do you think Harvey Stone and Frances give Cohn such a hard time? Why is Frances going to England (55)?

4. Compare / contrast Jake's relationship to Brett with Cohn's relationship to Frances. (For example, compare how each man is treated by the women. Why do you think the women act as they do in these relationships?)

5. Compare / contrast Jake and Cohn. How does the fact that Jake went to war and Cohn did not make them different from each other? In what ways are they like / unlike the rest of their friends? In what ways are they both outsiders?

6. In what ways is Count Mippipopolous like / unlike Jake and his friends? What do you think the count means by "values" (67)? (See p. 120.) Why do you think Brett says he's "dead"? What sort of "values" (78, 152, 156) does Jake have? Do you think he sticks to them?

7. Why do you think Hemingway includes the stories of the drummer (69-71) and the boxer (76-78)? What do you think goes in the ". . . . . ." on pp. 70-71?

8. Comment on some implications of the word "blind" (61, 105, 141) in the text. Do you think Jake prays for the right things in Pamplona (102-03)? What do you think is so "nice" and so "awful" (107) about Robert Cohn?

9. Why do you think Cohn is verbally abused so often in the novel? Is it because he is Jewish? (See pp. 101-02, 104, 145-48, 181.) Why do you think Mike attacks Cohn but not Jake, whom Brett actually loves? Why do you think Cohn accepts so much abuse? Why does he finally lash out (194-99)?

10. Bill tells Jake that "Sex explains it all" (121). To what extent is Bill's statement true of the novel The Sun Also Rises? In what ways are Brett, Jake and Cohn alike? (See pp. 101, 146-148, 163-64, 166, 179, 186-88, 194-99.)

11. Do you find Lady Brett Ashley to be a sympathetic character? Do you think she is a positive female role model? In what ways is her treatment of her male friends justified or unjustified? What do you Jake means when he says "the woman pays and pays and pays" (152)?

12. Read closely and analyze one of the longer passages in which Hemingway describes bulls or bullfighting. What sort of language does Hemingway use? Does the passage have symbolic possibilities? If the bullfighting passages do not advance the plot, how do they function to develop themes and motifs?

13. Analyze the novel in the context of World War I. How does the experience of war shape the characters and their behavior? Examine the differences between the veterans, like Jake and Bill, and the nonveterans, like Cohn and Romero.

14. Discuss the problem of communication in the novel. Why is it so difficult for the characters to speak frankly and honestly? In what circumstances is it possible for them to speak openly? Are there any characters who say exactly what is on their mind? If so, how are these characters similar to each other?