The Feast in the Time of a Plague

Topics: Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Lost Generation Pages: 2 (722 words) Published: April 16, 2013
Feast in the time of the plague.

The period after the World War I was quite hard for people who were disillusioned. They suffered because of the lives lost and were unaware of what their goals were and what they could amount to. In Ernest Hemingway's novel, The Sun Also Rises, the Lost Generations and their inability to cope with the changes around them is the focus of the novel. The epigraph to The Sun Also Rises contains a Gertrude Stein’s quote — “You are all a lost generation”. This proclamation is followed by a passage from the beginning of the Book of Ecclesiastes: “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever”. The former quote’s message clearly conveys that Jake Barns, Robert Cohn, Brett Ashley and Mike Campbell are deprived of moral, emotional, spiritual and physical values.

Even one of the main characters, Barns, doesn't deny that he and his friends are «lost». He states, “It was in reality a calamity for civilization and perhaps would have better avoided.” Without the belief in religion, love, justice and morality to guide the characters, they instead rely on partying and drinking to fill their losses. However, Barns differs from those around him. He seems aware of the fruitlessness of the Lost Generation’s way of life. He tells Cohn in Chapter II, “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” Most important is the fact that he acknowledges the pain that his war injury and his love for Lady Ashley has caused him. Although Barns does encounter significant problems in his life, he seems either unwilling or unable to remedy them. Even though he understands the Lost Generation’s dilemma, he remains trapped within it.

Reverting back to Lady Ashley, the war seems to have played an essential part in the formation of her character. During the war, Brett’s true love died of dysentery and her aimlessness, especially with regard to men, can be interpreted as a desperate,...
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