Lost Generation

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Love Pages: 3 (1177 words) Published: April 11, 2012
The Sun Also Rises portrays the lives of the members the “Lost Generation”, as named by Gertrude Stein. The young, post-WWI generation she speaks of had their dreams and innocence smashed by the war, survived as bitter and purposeless, and spent much of the booming 1920s drinking or partying away their frustrations. Jake’s character, in The Sun Also Rises, symbolizes the “Lost Generation”. Jake doesn’t have love, faith, manhood, or purpose, so he substitutes them with different activities and desires. The "Lost Generation” did not know what they wanted and they lost their old values and they did not know what they needed in order to fulfill the emptiness in their lives as a result of the war. The main characters are no exception they too do not know what they need to be happy and they do not respect themselves. All of them drink too much and drink too fast. Throughout the book, characters such as Jake, Brett, and Mike continually turn to drinking in order to excite themselves with the world. For that period of drinking, they are able to set their minds on drinking to the extent that it becomes a favored pastime. It connects them with the joys of life, the price to be paid later. Alcohol consumes their day to day lives. Alcohol is their obsession, and their need to drink has become their purpose. For instance, even when Jake's companions have left him and he has a chance at peace, he continues to indulge in liquor. Beyond drinking, several other activities inspired by fancy and passion consume the minds of Hemingway's characters and give them hollow direction. Physically and emotionally wounded from the war, Jake apathetically drinks his way through expatriate life. He cares little about religion, work, or friends. While others might have religion to fill the emptiness, Jake -though he says he's a Catholic- doesn't really believe in religion any longer. Bill asks “are you really a Catholic?” and Jake replies “Technically” (Hemingway, 128). He believes that...
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