Essay about Bullfighting in the Sun Also Rises

882 Words Nov 25th, 2010 4 Pages
Jonathan Rowe
Essay 1: The Sun Also Rises
English 42
Doctor Speirs

No Bull in Bullfighting

In The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway writes “nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters” (100). Spoken by Jake, this line exemplifies the importance that bullfighting plays in the novel. It's not only portrayed as a sport, but rather as a complex, mathematical art in the form of a dance between the bull and fighter. The matador scene in chapter 18 is perhaps one of the richest in the novel due to it's use of symbols. The choreography between Romero and the bull is reflective not only of the characterization of Brett and Jake, but of the relationship between Brett, her masculinity, and her
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In terms of symbolism, Romero is reflective of Brett, and the bull represents the men that Brett seduces. His method is to be “all so slow and so controlled” (217) at first, to lure the bull into proximity. Similarly, Brett lures men in with her brazen sexuality. The end result is the same however, with the bull and the men she's involved with. Romero will fight and kill the bull, just like Brett will lure men and eventually leave them. It's “all for sport, all for pleasure” (208). Brett's attraction to Romero can be explained in terms of his masculinity. Romero is somewhat of a perfect male, he's an aficionado, brave, beautiful, and held in very high esteem by everyone he encounters as well as being the favorite fighter of the crowd. He resembles Brett's masculinity. She's given a unnisex name, has short hair, and even refers to everyone as “chaps.”
She seems to mingle only with other men, possibly because she's shunned by other females for her promiscuity. While Romero and the bull most closely represent Brett and Jake, upon closer inspection another similarity can be drawn between Belmonte and Robert Cohn. Belmonte is a symbol for Cohn and his relationship with the other characters. Just like how Belmonte serves as a foil to the decadent style of Mercial and valor of Romero, Cohn is a foil to the other characters around him. While Romero would tease the audience with his graceful style and

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