Chapter 9 Summary: Jake plans to go to Bayonne with Bill and wires to Cohn to meet them there. Mike asks Jake if he would “mind if we [Mike and Brett] came down with [Jake].” Jake says it “would be grand” if they met up in Pamplona for the bull fights. Brett asks Jake if “Robert Cohn [is] going on this trip.” Brett is worried that the group trip “will be a bit rough on him.” Jake asks Brett who she went to San Sebastien with and Brett reveals that she had a sexual retreat with Cohn because she “through it would be good for him.” Jake, cynical and jealous, retorts and tells Brett should “take up social service.” A few days later, Jake learns that Cohn is “keen about it.” Jake and Bill take a train the next morning, which departs from the Gare d’Orsay. While on the train, they see Catholics going on a pilgrimage to Rome. Upon seeing the group, Bill comments, “It’s enough to make a man join the Klan.” The two men also have a conversation with an American family. The husband claims, “It’s a pity [Jake and Bill aren’t] Catholics” because then they “could get a meal.” The audience then learns that Jake is in fact Catholic. Jake and Bill watch the countryside pass them as they ride the train until they arrive in Bayonne. There they meet Cohn and grab a cab to the “nice hotel, [where] the people at the desk were very cheerful, and [they] each had a good small room.”
Chapter 10 Summary: The men wake in the morning and a driver takes them through the Basque country where “the land all looks very rich and green and the houses and villages look well-off and clean.” The group passes the Spanish frontier and cross a bridge, where they encounter Spanish carabineers who check the men’s papers. They also come across “an old man with long, sunburned hair and beard” who was carrying “a kid slung on his back.” After crossing the Spanish frontier, the group “crossed a wide plain, and there was a big river off on the right shining in the sun from between the lines of tree, and away off you could see the plateau of Pamplona rising out of the plain, and the walls of the city, and the great brown cathedral, and the broken skyline of the other churches.” Once in Pamplona, the men check-in at Hotel Montoya, run by a man of the same name. After settling into the hotel with a meal, Jake notices how “Cohn had been rather nervous since we [Jake and Bill] had met at Bayonne. He did not know whether we knew Brett had been with him at San Sebastian, and it made him rather awkward.” Bill and Cohn make a bet whether Brett will arrive that evening with Mike. Jake and Bill then head over to the Café Iruña for some coffee, while Cohn goes out to get a shave. Jake heads over to the Ayuntamiento and buys tickets to the bull fights from the same man he has been dealing with for years. After buying the tickets, Jake walks over to the cathedral, and because he thought he was a “bad Catholic” back on the train, makes a prayer for himself, Cohn, Brett, Mike, and the bull fights. The men reconvene for dinner and Jake again notices that Cohn is nervous and Jake “did not try to help him…enjoying Cohn’s nervousness.” Jake receives a telegram at dinner from Brett saying her and Mike would be stopping in San Sebastien for the night. Jake tells Cohn the message out of spite. Cohn tells Jake and Mike that he will wait at the hotel for Brett and Mike to arrive. Jake goes over to Mike’s room and finds him shaving. Bill tells Jake that Cohn confined in him about the rendezvous between Cohn and Brett in San Sebastien. Bill thinks Cohn is nice, but yet still believes Cohn to be “so awful.” The chapter ends with Bill saying any woman would feel safe with him, and the men plan to go fishing in the Irati River the next day.
Chapter 9 Annotations
Ledoux-Kid Francis Fight
Hemingway references the fight between Charles Ledoux and Francesco Buonagurio (nicknamed Kid Francis) that took place in Paris, France (“Charles Ledoux v. Kid Francis”). One of the reasons this fight was notable was because 17-year-old Kid Francis defeated the veteran 32-year-old Charles Ledoux (Kobler 519; “Charles Ledoux v. Kid Francis”). While Hemingway says this fight took place on June 20th, it actually took place on June 9, 1925 (Kobler 519).
An area of Northern France that had been a leisure destination for nobility in the 19th century but which was used as a place to strategize and house soldiers and recuperating wounded during WW1
1920s map of Pamplona
1920s map of Bayonne
Image Source: https://www.etsy.com/ie/listing/287783267/1926-bayonne-france-antique-map
(noun) Type of fly fishing line used for trout, the first 15ft of the line widen as it gets closer to the end.
Image Source: https://www.biarritz-pays-basque.com/must-see-places/towns-and-villages/towns/hendaye/
“You might take up social service.”
Jake Barnes sarcastically tells Lady Brett Ashley this in reference to her going to San Sebastian with Robert Cohn, implying that Cohn should be pitied and cared for (68). Social service is meant to provide a “service to society or for the benefit of other people,” like “philanthropic work on behalf of the poor or underprivileged” (“Social service, n.”). Cohn is not monetarily underprivileged compared to Jake, but Cohn is at a great social disadvantage by comparison. Cohn appears to be consistently excluded from Jake and his group of friends on a number of levels: Cohn is Jewish while Jake is Catholic, Cohn is naïve while Jake is knowledgeable (especially when Cohn wants to travel to South America simply for reading The Purple Land), Cohn abstains from drinking while Jake and his friends like to drink, and Cohn has not fought in World War I while Jake has (4, 71, 8, 113, 3, 14). The Sun Also Rises focuses on the in-group versus the out-group, and Cohn is clearly part of the out-group, this line being merely one of many examples in the novel.
A small village in Spain, not far from the French border and invisible on most maps. The town’s wikipedia page boasts of Hemingway’s mention of it in the novel The Sun Also Rises: “Burguete is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. Ernest Hemingway lodged in Burguete in 1924 and 1925 for a fishing trip to the Irati River, and describes it in his novel The Sun Also Rises.” (Wikipedia)
How/ what (depending on context)
(noun) The northernmost wine district in the Burgundy region of France. The cool climate produces wines with more acidity and less fruity flavors than Chardonnay in warmer climates
“It's enough to make a man join the Klan.”
In 1865, during the Reconstruction of the South, a white supremacist group called the Ku Klux Klan formed with the goal of reinstating slavery (“Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism”; Forsell 273). There have been three resurgences of the group in American history, including the late nineteenth century, in the 1920s, and during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s to early 1960s (“Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism”). In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan “was a product of American popular culture,” amending their ambitions to focus on identifying several “threats to white American society” after the end of World War I (Forsell 273). Hemingway wrote and published The Sun Also Rises during this second resurgence.
A suburb of Biarritz, the name of which means “The Negresse,” and which has recently begun to be debated as offensive. It may not be too long before the name of this town is changed. See https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/negresse-biarritz-france-racism-colonial-b1785114.html
Chapter 10 Annotations
Idyllic Landscape & Homosocial Shaving
The idyllic landscape of Bayonne complements the homosocial bonds between Jake Barnes and his friends present in Chapter 10. As he travels around in a car with his friends Bill Gorton and Robert Cohn, Jake comments on seeing remarkable sights like the “lovely gardens,” “the houses and villages [that] look well-off and clean,” and “a big river off on the right shining in the sun from between the line of trees” (Hemingway 74-75). Homosociality regards “social bonds between persons of the same sex,” and it is often used to refer to social bonds between men (Hammarén and Johansson 1). Although homosociality is often seen as being formed through competition and exclusion, recent research has found that men can also form homosocial bonds through “group cohesion, togetherness, and intimacy” rather than through competitive hierarchies (Hammarén and Johansson 3). This calm, picturesque landscape filled with sights like “lovely gardens” represents a more peaceful homosocial bond rather than a competitive one, as Jake even gets along with Robert Cohn in this landscape when in other environments Jake has excluded Cohn.
The homosociality symbolized throughout the chapter culminates in the final scene of Chapter 10, where Bill shaves his beard in front of Jake. While there are several different hypotheses for the evolution of the beard, one is to “signal [one’s] competitive ability to rival males,” therefore increasing a man’s social status and “the social distance between rival men” (Dixson and Vasey 482). Therefore, Bill shaving in front of Jake could be a way of showing his intention of an intimate homosocial bond rather than a polarizing, competitive one – regarding them as equals instead of trying to place himself above Jake social-wise.
The Spanish frontier
This inset of the frontier between France and Spain (Espagne) shows many towns mentioned in the book: Biarritz, Bayonne, Hendaye, Irun, San Sebastien, Pamplona.
The France-Spain border, or the Spanish frontier
(noun) A cavalry soldier whose principal weapon was a carbine
(noun) A goat under a year of age
(noun) The lowest point of a ridge or saddle between two peaks, typically affording a pass from one side of a mountain range to another
"Well, let him not get superior and Jewish."
By accusing Robert Cohn of acting superior, Jake Barnes further isolates him from the group and brings down Cohn’s status compared to the rest of the group. Cohn states, “I rather think [Brett and Mike are] not coming,” and Jake remarks that Cohn says it “with an air of superior knowledge that irritated both [Bill and me]” (76). Later, Cohn is approaching Bill and Jake, and when Jake sees Cohn, Bill remarks, “Well, let him not get superior and Jewish” (77). Robert Cohn is isolated from the “in-group” simply for existing, and by calling him superior, Bill and Jake ironically drag him further down society’s ranks.
“In civil life”
With this line, Jake Barnes implies that he has never seen a man “as nervous as Robert Cohn” except while he was fighting in World War I. Cohn was anxious to see Brett again for the first time since their excursion in San Sebastian. Jake is jealous of Cohn and Brett having a relationship he can never have with Brett, hence Jake taking pleasure in Cohn’s nerves. Jake relating Cohn to “civil life” could also refer to Cohn never having fought in the war like Jake has, as Cohn “never fought except in the gym” – which is one of the reasons Cohn is isolated from Jake and his friend group (Hemingway 3).
(noun) something beautiful, a charm, a peach
alternative: Slang term for a cigarette
"Go West Man Young Man"
Bill Gorton tells Jake Barnes to “go west with this face and grow up with the country” (Hemingway 82). This line parallels one of the famous slogans of Manifest Destiny, “Go west, young man, and grow up with the country,” which has typically been credited to distinguished New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley. Since Bill tells Jake to “go west” regarding women, Bill is encouraging Jake to expand his dominion over women in a Manifest-Destiny-like manner.
France vs. Spain-Some Final Thoughts
Our annotations here have concentrated mainly on the early chapters of The Sun Also Rises, and particularly on France, but there is one brief moment in the late chapters in which Jake crosses back into France briefly, before he has to go collect Brett on the heels of her failed love affair. Here Jake says “It felt strange to be in France again.” So much has happened since then, and he has perhaps learned a lot about the differences between Spanish and French hospitality. Specifically, he has irrevocably ruined his friendship with the Spanish hotelier Montoya with his and his friends’ bad behavior. This is obviously on his mind when he accidentally offends a French waiter. The server recommends to Jake a liqueur called Izarra made from the flowers of the Pyrenees, but he rejects it, saying that “it looked like hair oil and smelled like Italian strega.”
In order to smooth things over with the waiter, Jake overtips him, and reflects: “It felt comfortable to be in a country where it is so simple to make people happy. You can never tell whether a Spanish waiter will thank you. Everything is on such a clear financial basis in France. It is the simplest country to live in. No one makes things complicated by becoming your friend for any obscure reason.” This last line is clearly about Montoya, whom he betrayed. Jake feels that he is on solid ground again in France, where “If you want people to like you you have only to spend a little money.” In addition to a commentary on the difference between Spanish and French hospitality, there is a great deal of pathos in this line. The reader might wonder if Jake actually has any friends at all, especially as he has been repeatedly used by Brett, over and over throughout the novel.
Now that Jake has ruined bullfighting and his male friendships consolidated around their aficion for the sport, he is casting about for a new interest. In this chapter, too, we see him begin to take in interest in bicycle racing, with references to The Tour de France, Paname, La France Sportive, Chope de Negre; what is clearly happening beneath the surface is a lament for the friendship he has ruined with Montoya.