Lost Characters in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises

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The Lost Characters in The Sun Also Rises

In the novel The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, the lost generation is discussed. After the WWI, many were affected in different ways. This post-war generation is described by discrimination, lack of religion, escapism and inability to act.

The First character that is introduced into the novel is Cohn. He, as an outsider, is Jewish. Throughout the novel he is looked down upon in one way or another, but already he is separated from the rest which is shown when he is being described: "He had a hard, Jewish, stubborn streak" (p 18). This quote already shows that he is Jewish, and therefore different from the rest. Also, the fact that his streak is `hard [and] ...stubborn" shows that he is hard to deal with or be around. Even thought he is discriminated against, he is one of the very few that inform these people of the `lost generation' exactly how worthless they are when he says to Jake "You know what's the trouble with you? You're an expatriate. One of the worst type... Nobody that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth printing. Not even in the newspapers" (p 120) and "Hello, you bums" (p50). He literally rubs into Jake's face what kind of a waste he has become once he left his country. It is rather surprising that the one who is much disliked and discriminated against sees the worthless characteristics of the others. The significance of the word `bums' used must be noticed since a bum is an idle worthless person by definition. This very well describes the `lost generation.'

Nevertheless, racism isn't the only separation that the people make. Even the concierge, who one would think would not be too proud, "[takes] great pride in telling me which of my guests were well brought up, which were of good family, who were sportsmen, a French word pronounced with the accent on the men. The only trouble was that people who did not fall into any of those three categories were very liable to be told there was no one home, chez Barnes" (p 60). This shows how important wealth and back ground is, but the ones who are part of the `lost generation' are not included into any of those simply because their background is forgotten, and they are all worthless people.
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