Term of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Olivia Carr Edenfield

Committee Member 1

Joseph Pellegrino

Committee Member 2

Bradley Edwards


The Sun Also Rises is a novel rich with elements of Catholicism, which are woven into Jake Barnes’ pilgrimage. These religious connections are often acknowledged, but not fully discussed in recent research. Deserving more critical attention are the saints and pilgrimage destinations identified within the text and the role each plays in providing clarity and understanding as Jake resolves his relationship with his greatest spiritual and emotional adversary, Brett Ashley. Many scholars are in agreement that Jake’s pilgrimage begins with desire for understanding and meaning, climaxes at the bullfight, and ultimately resolves in a spiritual rebirth at San Sebastian, but none have explored the connection to St. Peter, an iconic figure who has been overlooked with regard to the pilgrimage. Most specifically this essay will explore more completely the connection Jake makes to St. Peter, the patron saint of fishing. Also the character comparison between Peter the Apostle and Pedro Romero is striking, both standing at the moral center of The Sun Also Rises. Both men exhibit tremendous strength of character, overcome their weaknesses, and become powerful, passionate, and moral men. My exploration of these iconic figures, symbols, and experiences will provide a deeper religious understanding of Jake Barnes.