ACC English 3
14 February 11, 2011
The literary world of the 1920’s is often referred to as the “Lost Generation.” This was a time of hopelessness and heartache from the damages of the war which caused carelessness and lack of responsibility. Everyone was affected in some way and often could not handle the situation, usually turning to alcohol to relieve all problems. According to Gertrude Stein, the literary figures of the 1920’s “drank themselves to death”, especially two of the greatest writers of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Although both authors use alcohol as a “mask” or an escape to try and fill the void of hopelessness, Hemingway has a stronger emphasis on alcohol than Fitzgerald and also uses it as a means of communion.
The life of Ernest Hemingway is a perfect example of turning to alcohol to escape the hopelessness and aimlessness of the “Lost Generation.” Hemingway had a very disturbing and but adventurous childhood in America. He grew up with a mother who dressed him like his older sister and a father who was obsessed with masculinity. His father taught him many masculine activities like hunting, fishing, and camping and he developed a love for the natural world and outdoor adventure. The fun and games soon ended for Ernest with World War I and he joined the Red Cross as an ambulance driver in Italy. Hemingway suffered an injury that would haunt him for the rest of his life. His childhood dreams were shattered and he was both physically and mentally damaged by the effects of war. Throughout his life, Hemingway wrote many great novels and short stories, but he eventually turned to alcohol to fill the void of hopelessness which caused a downfall of the quality of his writing. Hemingway was lost in his relationships with his father and also with women. He tried to be a better father to his childhood than his own dad, and all he had learned from his childhood were hunting, fishing, and...