Lost Generation in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises
In the words of Herbert Hoover, “Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath.” War disfigures and tears away precious lives. Its horrors embed themselves like an infectious disease in the minds of the survivors, who, when left to salvage the pieces of their former existences, are brushed into obscurity by the individuals attempting to justify the annihilation of the world that was. The era following World War I epitomizes the inheritance of tribulation and sorrow for the generation that remains to retrieve some form of happiness – the lost generation. These are the poor souls who suffer for mankind and endure abandonment by a world that wants to forget suffering. This generation of the 1920’s is often featured in the literature of the era, particularly the work of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises is one such example in which he portrays the social dislocation of the members of the Lost Generation and illustrates his own inner torment as a member of this collection of outcasts.
Hemingway’s lost generation consists of society’s misfits, the unwanted pariahs that exist in every part of the globe. They, like their creator, seek a new peace and a permanent escape route from the cruelties of living. This group of “untouchables” includes Jake, Brett, Cohn, Bill, and Mike. Although each of them has earned his place in society in a different fashion, they find themselves captives of the same injustice of society and form a camaraderie that brings them security and companionship in a cruel world. They fully realize their estrangement from so…
… the world and provide examples of the unfortunate results of discrimination and neglect. Like Jake, Brett, Cohn, Bill, Georgette, Harrison, Count Mippipopolous, and Mike, Hemingway is a forsaken member of thousands who have become the lost generation.
Works Cited and Consulted:
Bloom, Harold. Ernest Hemingway. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1985.
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Simon and Schuster Inc., 1993.
Holmes, John C. “This Is The Lost Generation.” The New York Times Magazine. [New York] 16 November 1952.
Noble, Donald R. Hemingway: A Revaluation. New York: The Whitston Publishing Company, 1983.
Svoboda, Frederic J. Hemingway and The Sun Also Rises: The Crafting of a Style. Kansas: The Univeersity Press of Kansas, 1983.
Young, Philip. “Ernest Hemingway.” Encyclopedia International. v. 8, p.388-389. 1982 ed.