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KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
The novel is set in Paris, especially those districts frequented by American ex-patriots. In Book II, the protagonist goes to Burguete, Spain for a fishing trip, and then to Pamplona for the fiesta of San Fermin and the bullfights. After the fiesta, he goes to San Sebastian, Spain for a brief holiday, and then to Madrid where the novel ends.
The social atmosphere is the frenetic social scene of expatriate Americans and British after World War I, when the young people who had been affected by the war found themselves unable or unwilling to return home. It was the same scene which many expatriate writers and artists experienced before the next war dispersed them.
LIST OF CHARACTERS
The narrator of the novel, who is a newspaper reporter, wounded in the groin in World War II and impotent as a result; also a consummate cynic who longs for lost connection.
Brett; Lady Ashley
Served as nurse to Jake during the war, now a sexually promiscuous alcoholic,
engaged to Mike Campbell.
An expatriate novelist who is Jewish and who serves as foil to Jake.
French prostitute whom Jake befriends.
American millionaire attracted to Brett.
Jake's friend, served in war with him, goes fishing with him.
An English fishing acquaintance.
Jake's friend in Pamplona who owns Hotel Montoya and who is a bullfighting aficionado and father figure for Jake.
A well-known bullfighter and Brett's lover.
A ruined bullfighter who has returned from retirement.