"One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth foreverÃ¢ÂÂ¦ The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he aroseÃ¢ÂÂ¦ The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuitsÃ¢ÂÂ¦All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." -Ecclesiastes This passage from Ecclesiastes gives examples of the "Circle of Life." In the book The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway the aforementioned passage encompasses one of the many themes offered. The theme that this quote portrays is shown throughout the book, but goes unrecognized until the end of the book is reached. Upon going back through the book I have found many examples of this theme, that when read the first time make no impression but stand out boldly the next.
One example of a missed thematic expression occurs on pg. 39, the last two paragraphs "IÃ¢ÂÂ¦" to "Ã¢ÂÂ¦sorry." This in itself seems insignificant but when compared to an incident that takes place later, on pg. 194 beginning "WellÃ¢ÂÂ¦" and ending with "Ã¢ÂÂ¦ right.", it shows how although many things had happened Jake Barnes' feelings for Robert Cohn had not truly changed. This gives a very good example of the theme that everything comes back around again.
Another example of this appears on pg. 148 "PerhapsÃ¢ÂÂ¦about." This section shows how the main character, Jake Barnes, does not care if he truly learns anything in life and only wants to know how to get by. If in life you never learn anything, then it is almost impossible to change. Jake Barnes' unwillingness to learn shows that later in his life he will have little or no change as he did for the book, yet again showing the theme of a constant or unchanging course.
The incident where Bocanegra kills a man in the crowd while being loaded off the truck for the fight later that night is a subtle example of the theme, the bill always comes. (On pg. 199 "TheÃ¢ÂÂ¦ Pamplona.") The example shown here is the bull kills a man and later the will get its punishment from Pedro Romero. The bull has committed a violent and deadly act against man so, in turn, he (the bull) will be smitten in view of hundreds of spectators. This shows how things in life will always have a steady course of action, which is shown in this rather subtle example.
A far better example of the thematic interpretation conveyed in the prior paragraph, is the character of Mike. Mike is very high and mighty when arriving in Pamplona with his lady, Brett. He continues to inflate his ego by insulting Robert Cohn with out any feeling of remorse. Mike gets what's coming to him at the end of the fiesta when Brett leaves for Madrid with Pedro Romero and he must go on the train with Bill and Jake. He is even further exploited when at a bar he is unable to pay because in truth he is penniless, forcing Brett to pay Montoya for the entire hotel bill. This shows that things eventually came back around again, and truly deflated Mike's image.
The final reference it is necessary to make is the book in itself. In the beginning Brett and Jake are alone in the carriage and they have a discussion where they profess their love for one another. The book ends the same way but in Madrid. When you read the end it seems like nothing has changed; it is a repeat of Paris but in Madrid.
This theme is carried through the entire book and is truly pointed out in the quote from Ecclesiastes. The quote is put in the front of the book deliberately to show this easily overlooked but crucial theme. In truth this book has started and ended in the same fashion showing that the interim truly did not change anything, as often happens in life.