The Sun Also Rises


Significant Quotations

1. “I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together…” (Jake, talking about Cohn)

Chapter 1

Early in the novel, Jake announces his cynical attitude with this ironic statement. We tend to associate frankness with honesty, and to trust people whose “stories hold together.” Jake Barnes feels exactly the opposite way, implying that he prefers insincere people who tell tall tales. Jake’s “mistrust” is based on the fact that Cohn has not experienced anything in life that has embittered him. Perhaps Jake envies Cohn for being able to hold on to his simplicity and honesty, which Jake’s own experiences have robbed him of. Jake therefore tends to trust others like himself, who have become cynical. Jake’s other friends—Brett, Mike and Bill—are all more like Jake in this way. Although it is never stated, we can assume that their wartime experiences have made them this way. Cohn was never in the war and has therefore retained his simplicity and openness. As the novel progresses, this is the very quality that keeps Cohn from being accepted by Jake’s circle of friends.

2. “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.” (Robert Cohn)

“Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bullfighters.” (Jake Barnes)

Chapter 2

Cohn’s sense that he is missing something in life is an honest expression of how many of the novel’s characters feel, but he is the only one who ever articulates this feeling. Because Cohn has not been psychologically scarred by the war and has never had to look true hopelessness in the face, he maintains a belief that life does have something more to offer, that there is some meaning out there to be discovered. The aimless traveling and compulsive drinking of Jake and his other friends demonstrate that they, too, are unfulfilled. However, their experiences have...

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Essays About The Sun Also Rises