The Sun Also Rises: Chapters 11-14

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 12746

If you think there is something "fishy" about Hemingway's life, you are correct! He enjoyed his sports, and that comes through his writing. What sports are you "hooked" on that you can write about?


Literary Studies

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


If you've ever been fishing, how did the activity make you feel? Did it seem like something really exciting? If you've never fished, would it seem interesting enough to read about?

Ernest Hemingway was a person who enjoyed sporting activities.

He was a big game hunter and a fisherman. During his years in Key West, Florida, and Cuba, he owned a boat named the Pilar, and would spend hours deep-sea fishing. Hemingway included many of these pursuits in his novels. His deep-sea fishing experiences inspired The Old Man and the Sea. In The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway also includes extensive passages on fishing, that you will read about in this lesson.

To learn more about Hemingway's thoughts on fishing, read the following article that Hemingway wrote about his fishing experiences. It was published in the October 4, 1933, issue of Esquire, which was the magazine's first issue. As you read, answer the following questions in your reader's notebook or journal that you started keeping in the first lesson on the novel:

  • Why does Hemingway eat a minimal breakfast before fishing?
  • How does Hemingway describe marlin?
  • What are the different moods in which marlin will attack a baited hook? How do these approaches differ from one another?
  • How does Hemingway describe the experience of catching and reeling in a giant marlin?

Read Marlin off the Morro: A Cuban letter., by Ernest Hemingway, from Esquire. When you have finished reading the article and answering the questions, write your initial reactions in your notebook.

  • How do you think Hemingway feels when he is fishing?
  • What clues in the article support your deduction?

When you have finished with the article, read Chapters Eleven through Fourteen in The Sun Also Rises. As you read, take notes on the two sports mentioned in these chapters: fishing and bullfighting. Record the characters' reactions to both pursuits. You can use these notes to help you answer the questions about the reading later in the lesson.

When you have finished reading and taking your notes, move on to the Got It? section to explore the events from these chapters in greater detail.

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