The Sun Also Rises: Novel Summary: Book I – Chapters III – IV

Chapter IIIThe chapter begins with Jake alone in the Caf Napolitain after Cohn has left. Jake quickly invites a young woman (a poule or prostitute named Georgette) walking by the caf to join him. They leave the caf together, and go for a ride in a horse-cab around Paris. In the cab, they begin kissing, and when things begin to advance further, Jake stops the young woman and says that he is sick. They find a restaurant for dinner, and Jake admits that his sickness came from the Great War (World War I). Jake begins to get a little bored with the conversation, when someone calls his name. It turns out to be Braddocks, a friend of his and Cohn`s, and Cohn, Frances, Mrs. Braddocks, and several others are among the party. They invite Jake to join their group and bring his friend. He introduces Georgette as his fiance, and gives the wrong last name (LeBlanc, he says, and she soon admits under questioning that her last name is actually Hobin). The group had intended to go dancing, and Jake and Georgette accompany them to a small dancing club. They arrive before the club is busy, and begin dancing. Soon two taxi-loads of gay men arrive with Lady Brett Ashley among them. For some reason, Jake becomes angry and leaves the club to have a drink at another bar, and returns a little later. When he returns to the club, Mrs. Braddocks introduces him to a young American novelist. Jake quickly becomes annoyed with this writer`s questions and walks away from him. He bumps into Cohn, who asks him what seems to be wrong. They walk over to the bar, and encounter Brett. Jake seems to know Brett already, and he notices how Cohn looks at her. They talk to each other and seem to ignore Cohn. Jake makes a disparaging comment about the crowd Brett is with; Brett makes a jocular remark about Georgette. Cohn steps into the conversation and asks Brett to dance. She says she had promised the dance to Jake, and she avoids his persistence by claiming that she and her group are leaving. While they are dancing together, Jake and Brett decide to leave. Jake leaves money for the prostitute with the owner`s wife, and they leave, though it seems like Brett has some trouble getting away from Cohn. They eventually get a taxi, and ask the driver to just drive around. Chapter IVDuring this cab ride, Jake and Brett kiss, but eventually move apart and sit like strangers. They profess their love for each other, but they are frustrated by Jake`s “wound” (it now appears to be impotence). The conversation seems to go in circles-one person deciding they shouldn`t see each other, the other person saying they should, then trading positions. Eventually they decide to go to a caf, where they meet most of the people who had been at the dance at the caf. An acquaintance (Zizi, a Greek painter) introduces Brett to Count Mippipopolous, a corpulent Greek nobleman. Jake is greeted by Braddocks, and asks about Cohn. Cohn has gone home with Frances, he is told. Jake decides to leave, tells Brett that he is leaving, and refuses a drink of champagne with the Count. He manages to set up a meeting with Brett at the Hotel Crillon for the next day. He walks back to his apartment, gets his mail, and starts going through it. Alone in his apartment, he stands in front of his mirror and thinks about his wound. Then he gets into bed and starts reading his bull-fight papers. After reading the paper all the way through, he blows out the lamp and sits in bed thinking. He remembers the hospital on the Italian front where he was wounded. He remembers being shipped back to England where he met Brett, and he remembers the Catholic church`s advice not to think about it. Then he starts crying, and stops, and eventually falls asleep. Shortly thereafter, he hears an argument in the building and wakes up to investigate. The concierge informs him that a woman has come to see him. He hears Brett`s voice, and asks that she be sent up. Brett is drunk and doesn`t know that it`s four-thirty in the morning, and asks for something to drink. They begin talking about the Count, and Brett calls him “quite one of us.” She tells Jake that the Count had offered her a considerable sum of money to go with him to Biarritz, Cannes, Monte Carlo, and that she had refused and asked him to bring her to Jake. She says that she told the Count that she loved Jake; the Count offered to take the two of them out to dinner. Jake seems to accept this offer. Then she announces that she should go, and asks Jake to join her and the Count for breakfast. Jake refuses. They kiss goodbye, and Brett leaves. Jake watches her walk down the street. As he cleans up and gets into bed, he thinks about Brett, and starts to feel depressed again. Analysis, Chapters III – IVThis section of the book establishes the key tension between Brett and Jake, and the way that Jake is forced to confront Brett`s promiscuity. They seem to be in love, and profess that love every time they are alone together; at the same time, they are both frustrated that Jake`s wound prevents the consummation that they both seem to want and that Brett is forced to seek with other men. This section also introduces the interest that Cohn has in Brett, and the way that Brett seems to ignore and discourage that interest. The Count becomes an important contrast with Cohn and with Jake, and demonstrates Brett`s ability to acquire interested men and make use of them-for money, transportation, entertainment, and self-gratification. Jake`s acquisition, on the other hand, in the form of Georgette, becomes a complex element of this initial scene. Jake`s use of people pales in comparison to both Brett`s use of the group of homosexuals and the Count (and, a little later, Cohn).