The Lost Generation Exposed in The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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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. (Shi 988) From 1920-1926, a series of novels, including Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises formed a modern form of literature (Reynolds 6); furthermore, these novels were based on the “Lost Generation,” and the issues that perpetually following the Great War. Ernest Hemingway himself was a member of this generation, an...

... middle of paper ... realistic issues of the time. Finally, Ernest Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises as an allegorical tale of the times he realized first hand and experienced as a way of life; indeed, his utilization of symbolism and character development represent the aimlessness of the “Lost Generation.”

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. American Fiction between the Wars. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2005. Print.

Bloom, Harold. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Print

Bryfonski, Dedria. Male and Female Roles in Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Detroit, MI: Green haven/Gale, 2008. Print.

Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Print.

Reynolds, Michael S. The Sun Also Rises, a Novel of the Twenties. Boston: Twayne, 1988. Print.

Shi, David E. United States History. 7th ed. New York: Norton &, 2007. Print.
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