Essay on Hemingway vs. Fitzgerald

1504 Words May 18th, 2011 7 Pages
Audrey Smith
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
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He used alcohol to prove his masculinity to his father and thought it showed his strength because a sign of a good man was whether or not he could handle his alcohol. Hemingway drank to uncover a mask put upon him as a child and to prove to his father that he was a true man. Also, he never actually realizes the effect his alcohol consumption has on his health until he is overweight with high blood pressure. His carelessness and ignorance of the dangers of alcohol even showed when “he taught his 12-year-old son Patrick to drink” (Petri Liukkonen). By the end of his life, Hemingway is so lost that he finds the only way out is through suicide. Although the life of Ernest Hemingway was one of destruction from war and alcohol, he also had a good time and could handle his alcohol very well, which can also be understood through one of his best known novels. In his novel, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway not only turns his characters to drinking and partying as a means of escape, but also to come together for a good time. Alcohol has both positive and negative effects on the character and is used in a variety of ways. This novel takes place in a time of prohibition in America. Hemingway places his characters in Paris and later on in Spain to escape the prohibition. He illustrates them drinking and moving from one bar or café to the next, mostly for a good time, but also to fill the emptiness of the “Lost Generation.” He uses characters like

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