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Following World War I and the strife it brought to American culture, seemingly good times were felt by all in the roaring twenties; however, the reality is expressed through the negative happenings of the “Lost Generation.” Published in 1926, Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises acts as an allegory of the time, explaining the situations of American and foreign young adults of the “Lost Generation." The journey of Robert Cohn, Lady Bret Ashley and Jake Barnes and their experience abroad in France is one of false relationships, the disparaging actions of women and the insecurity of men; moreover, the major issues of the time compile to form what people living in the 1920’s and historians postulate as the “Lost Generation.” As an enlightening tale, The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway’s portrayal of a morally ailing generation. In conclusion, Hemingway utilizes character description and symbolism in order to present the aimless destruction of the “Lost Generation.” In the early portion of the 1920’s, Gertrude Stein told Ernest Hemingway, “All of you young people who served in the War, you are the lost generation.” (Shi 987) After World War I, those who served returned to a world that had lost morals, ways of life and a traditional status quo. Consequently, young soldiers were forced to reconcile with a world that seemingly lacked meaning. To compensate, the generation turned to alcohol, sex and tainted love affairs.
A Farewell to Arms NewYork, renewal Copy right Ernest Hemingway 1957 Monteiro, George, ed. Critical Essays on Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1994. Dr. Eric Hibbison, Professor of English and Chief Chair, Virginia Community College System 2001. Available online from: http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/afta/