Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises: The Centrality of Jake's Paris
Paris, France, the setting of the first third of The Sun Also Rises, is central not simply to Book One but to the novel's entirety. Although early critics have seen the city as a wasteland populated by aimless and degenerate expatriates, I argue that Jake's Paris is orderly and his life there pleasant, patterned, and purposeful. Jake has made the French language his own and Paris, "a "good town," his home-in part through a job he values and friends he has won through his generosity and warm sense of humor. When Jake leaves Paris, the city is not left behind. The Paris happenings reverberate throughout key scenes in Bayonne, France, and Burguete, Pamplona, and San Sebastian, Spain. These echo scenes chart the progress of Jake's evolving relationship with Lady Brett Ashley. They show Jake's growing control, his assuming the dominance that Brett had earlier exercised. Together, these echo scenes make clear that Jake's Paris holds the key not only to Book One but to the novel as a whole.
The Hemingway Review