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Searching For Meaning While Avoiding Confrontation Of The Self

848 words - 4 pages

A contemporary of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, describes the lost generation as the youth that experienced the terrors of World War One. Readers can observe in Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, that the expatriates of the lost generation lead frivolous hedonistic lives on a superficial level. Additionally, two concepts relevant to their lifestyles can be observed. The first concept is explained in Hemingway’s ‘Nada’ theory (Miles), which states that when people lose meaning to their lives they’ll see that there is nothing out in the world to appreciate. The second concept is concerned with the confrontation of the self. Analytical psychologist Karl Jung describes each person with a ...view middle of the document...

This implies that at night when Jake is alone, he thinks about his problems; thus revealing Jake can’t run away from his problems forever. When Jake isn’t distracted by anything, then he can introspect himself on why he feels the way he does about his problems. Moreover, Jake could find meaning in his life by accepting his shadow and by confronting his past weaknesses, so that he can face life genuinely.
As a result of fearing future hardships, most individuals can’t focus themselves on decision making, so instead they resort to escapism. For instance, in a dialogue between Jake and his friend Robert Cohn, Cohn asks Jake if he ever gets the feeling that his life is just slipping by without him ever truly experiencing it, and if he ever realizes that he has already lived half his life. Jake is very bothered by Cohn’s question and responds by saying he does then shouting what the hell to him. Jake’s disconcerting response could reveal that he is frustrated that his future will continue to seem ‘nada’ and there won’t be any lasting impacts. At the same time, through feeling frustration Jake is recognizing his shadow’s desire to forge a decisive life. Also, by confronting his shadow self he can avoid the escapism.
The aimless expatriates have diverted their attention from the accepting the shadow self and yearning for meaning to escapism because of the bitter memories that are recalled. Towards the end of chapter four Jake appears in a hotel room where he...

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