Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time Essay

1389 words - 6 pages

'The times, they are a changing,' famous words spoken by Bob Dylan, a king of his generation. 'Lost generations,' is an interesting phrase, but what kind of meaning should it hold? Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time is a true representation of a 'lost generation' for the simple reason that all generations are eventually lost as time goes by. Hemingway focuses on a generation he knows a great deal about- his own. It becomes apparent throughout the novel that Hemingway is trying to give the reader a feel for what times were like(or at least what he wanted or perceived them to be like) and knowingly or maybe even somewhat inadvertently conveys a message about the time period in question. All of the 'messages' bring the reader to an understanding of a generation, the 'lost generation' that appears to result from Hemingway's novel.Ernest Hemingway uses intense short stories to leave a feeling of awe and wonder in the reader of In Our Time. One begins to become emotionally involved and attached to Hemingway's many stories, just as he himself appears to hold some personal attachment and emotion to each story. One could even speculate that In Our Time's main character Nick, is in fact, Hemingway himself. It seems as though no matter what age this novel is read at, it could be discussed as a representation of the 'lost generation.' What is meant by the phrase 'lost generation?' Possibly it means the loss of a kindlier, friendlier, period of time. Maybe it means a loss of familiarity, closeness and strength of relationships; everyday things like the lost art of conversation. But at the same time, the characters in the stories appear to be part of a 'lost generation' themselves. In 'The Three- Day Blow,' Nick and Bill spend a leisurely afternoon talking about baseball and books while enjoying a good 'ole'' bottle of Irish whiskey. They manage to pass the time talking rather than watching 'television' or going to the 'mall,' things that are all too common today. This leisure time seems like a pastime that has all been but outlawed in today's fast paced modern society. They seem to get by on nothing else but their own company and do not adhere to any outside interference- they do not need any other means of entertainment to enhance their time together. It is just the two of them and a good bottle of whiskey- no more, no less. Hemingway's stories seem to have a vintage, old- fashioned kind of feel to them, but at the same time portray and somewhat relate to modern times. They all seem to have some kind of moral dilemma or moral awareness in them. All the characters appear to be searching for something, although they are not all consciously aware of what or where or even why fate has brought them to the place in time they are in. 'Cat in the Rain' depicts a so- called happily married couple on some sort of a vacation in Spain, spending a day inside(apparently by the husband's choice) due to the bad weather. The wife seems to be searching for something to fill a...

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