The Sun Also Rises is a novel about a some people who are diverse and yet come together to create a story about love and the lengths it drives people to. It starts with a background story on Robert Cohn who was a boxer but became an intellectual and developed a relationship with a woman who only wanted his money and fame. His friend Jake, telling the background story, tries to convince him to go to France with him. Cohn eventually complies. When they go to France they run into Lady Brett, a former close friend of Jake's who almost had a relationship with him but he had an injury which prevented her from going out with him. While in France Brett, though engaged to someone else, flirts with other guys and causes her fiancé to become jealous. She falls in love with a bullfighter and Jake helps her to develop the relationship even though he liked her and she liked him.
The theme of the novel was that love makes a person do foolish things. For example Cohn stayed with his wife even though she was only with him for the money and fame. Also, Jake helped Brett, the love of his life, develop a relationship with someone she considered the love of her life. If they were thinking rationally Cohn would have broken the relationship and Jake would have had nothing to do with Lady Brett, however they were overcome with love and thus acted irrationally.
The tone is respectful and dignified. The people are literature savvy and show this in their dialogue and also the tone expresses this which makes the novel difficult to read.
"I can't stand to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it."
"Nobody ever lives their life all the way up except bull-fighters."
"He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton."
"You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another."
Foreshadowing is a literary technique used to convey the imminent break of Lady Brett's relationship with Mike. The story of how Lady Brett was involved with Jake but eventually broke up with him because of his injury signifies how she is obsessed with physical relationships. She found Romero to be more physically involved than Mike so it was only logical she would dump him. She never really seemed interested in him in the first place also.
Symbolism is used with bull-fighting. It is very physical and Lady Brett seems very interested in it as much as she is with physical activities. Jake is also interested like he is with physical activities that he can no longer do and which prevent him from seeing Lady Brett.
It is ironic that the one person who will make Lady Brett happy and stop flirting with so many guys and traveling from person to person is Jake who she cannot have a relationship with. Pathos is a literary device used to get the reader to feel sympathy towards Jake who was dumped for a selfish reason by the love of his life. Characterization was used to display the very different characters and how they think and respond to one another.