Hilary asked:

why is this book important?

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Susan Hope you weren't waiting for a response so you could write an essay!

The significance of the novel lies with the quote from Gertrude Stein: You are all a lost generation.

You could certainly Google "lost generation" and find a detailed explanation; my brief definition is that Stein was referring to the Americans (and Brits) who stayed in Europe after WWI, disappointed and disillusioned about war and life and love and their fellow humans. The characters lead purposeless lives, finding solace in alcohol.

I could write a whole essay about the topic, but I hope this answer is enough to start you thinking about the "lost generation" represented in The Sun Also Rises.
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