The Sun Also Rises: Top Ten Quotes

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  1. "You are all a lost generation."

    p. 7 The first of two epigraphs to the book, attributed to Gertrude Stein. It suggests the ambitious goal for the novel of describing the concerns of a generation.
  2. "Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn."

    p. 11 The opening lines of the book that establish both a key to Cohn's character and the narrator's attitude toward him.
  3. "Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters."

    p. 18 A famous comment made by Jake, in an early conversation with Cohn about Cohn's unhappiness with life in Paris, about how most people don't live their lives fully,

  4. "I was very angry. Somehow they always made me angry. I know they are supposed to be amusing, and you should be tolerant, but I wanted to swing on one, any one, anything to shatter that superior, simpering composure."

    p. 28 A comment Jake makes to himself in the narrative about Brett's crowd of homosexual companions at the bal musette.
  5. "No," I said. "Nobody ever knows anything."

    p. 35 Something that Jake says to Brett, alone in the taxi with her early in the book, talking about his wound and the injustice of being in love and unable to act on it.
  6. "It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing."
    p. 42 Jake says this after Brett has been up to see him and he has been thinking about her.

  7. "What's the matter?"
    "I don't know. I just feel terribly."
    ".." the drummer chanted. Then turned to his sticks.
    "Want to go?"
    I had the feeling as in a nightmare of it all being something repeated, something I had been through and that now I must go through again.
    ".." the drummer sang softly.
    "Let's go," said Brett. "You don't mind."
    ".." the drummer shouted and grinned at Brett.
    "All right," I said. We got out from the crowd. Brett went to the dressing room.

    pp. 70-71 The exchange that Brett and Jake have on the dance floor at the jazz club, just before she leaves for San Sebastian where she has her liaison with Cohn. The drummer is African, and the six dots or double-ellipses appear to represent jazz singing.<
  8. "I'm damned bad for a religious atmosphere," Brett said. "I've the wrong type of face."

    p. 212 Brett speaks on the last day of the fiesta, the morning after Cohn's fistfight with Romero, and just before Romero's last bullfight at the Pamplona fiesta. Jake and Brett have just left the church after trying to pray for Romero's success.
  9. "The crowd was the boys, the dancers, and the drunks. Romero turned and tried to get through the crowd. They were all around him trying to lift him and put him on their shoulders. He fought and twisted away, and started running, in the midst of them, toward the exit. He did not want to be carried on people's shoulders. But they held him and lifted him. It was uncomfortable and his legs were spraddled and his body was very sore. They were lifting him and all running toward the gate. He had his hand on somebody's shoulder. He looked around at us apologetically. The crowd, running, went out the gate with him."

    pp. 224-25 The moment after Romero's third bull on the last day of the fiesta, just after he has been awarded the honor of an ear of the bull and presented that ear to Brett. He is an unequivocal hero, and the crowd surges into the ring to carry him away and celebrate with him.
  10. "Oh, Jake," Brett said, "we could have had such a damned good time together."
    Ahead was a mounted policeman in khaki directing traffic. He raised his baton. The car slowed suddenly pressing Brett against me. "Yes," I said. "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

    p. 251 The last lines of the book, after Jake shows up in Madrid to take Brett away from the scene of Romero's departure from her, and after a few drinks and a lunch in Madrid. They are riding around Madrid in a taxi, waiting for the departure of their evening train.

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