Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | MonkeyNotes
TERM PAPER IDEAS / ESSAY TOPICS
1. Discuss Robert Cohn's relations with women: his first wife, Frances, and Lady Brett Ashley.
2. How does Jake Barnes feel about Robert Cohn? Why does he feel this way?
3. Why is Robert Cohn's reading of The Purple Land sinister, as Jake claims it is?
4. At the bal musette, Jake makes fun of Braddocks, Frances, and others. What does he find wrong with them? Is he fair?
5. Why does Jake say, in the bal musette, "The whole show makes me sick"? What would he like better?
6. Jake's given name, Jacob, is "a hell of a Biblical name," according to Brett. Who is Jacob in the Bible, and why would Jake Barnes be named after him?
7. What makes Cohn such a romantic? Where does it get him?
8. Why are Jake, Brett, and Count Mippipopolous such realists?
9. Jake says, "It's a lot of fun to be in love." Brett says, "I think it's hell on earth." Discuss their love and why it is doomed to fail.
10. Discuss Count Mippipopolous' system of values. Do Jake and Brett agree with it? Do you?
11. Why does Brett go to San Sebastian with Robert Cohn?
12. What happens to Jake and Bill in the Spanish countryside? What is it about the land that changes them so?
13. What are the differences between the tourists on the train and the Spanish
peasants on the bus?
14. Discuss the way Hemingway paints the Spanish countryside so beautifully with words.
15. Why is Jake a "rotten Catholic"?
16. Why does "one lose track of days up here in the mountains"? Compare Paris, Burguete, and Pamplona.
17. Mike calls Cohn a steer. Discuss Hemingway's characters in terms of steers and bulls.
18. Why does Cohn call Brett "Circe"?
19. Why is Jake afraid of the dark? What does he think about when he's alone at night?
20. Why do the Spaniards want Brett "as an image to dance around" during the fiesta?
21. Why does Brett like Romero so much?
22. Why does Mike constantly taunt Cohn, especially for being Jewish?
23. Why does Montoya get silently angry at Jake and finally refuse to talk to him?
24. Why is Jake carrying a "phantom suitcase" after Cohn knocks him out?
25. Why does Cohn apologize so profusely to Jake after hitting him?
26. "Bulls are brute animals," says a waiter after Vicente Girones is gored. Discuss why he believes bullfights are stupid.
27. Why does Jake think bullfights are grand? What is the nature of his aficion?
28. Why is the bullfighter Belmonte jeered by the crowd? Why is Romero cheered?
29. Why does Brett call Jake to Madrid?
30. What is it that Brett "sort of [has] instead of God"?