World War I, or the Great War (1914-1918), fractured the American worldview in ways that were beyond imagination. Many young Americans were in a state of shock after having witnessed death and destruction on such an unparalleled scale. The country that they once knew, as a safe haven built on tenets such as patriotism, faith, and morality (prior to the war) had fallen. All that remained was the population that felt lost, hopeless, scattered and at odds with the old norms of the society.

These sentiments pervaded many cultural aspects of change in the 1920s, including literature. Writers could no longer relate to the subject matter or the themes of the texts produced before the war. Although the term Lost Generation’ was introduced by Gertrude Stein, a modernist American writer who made Paris her permanent home, it only gained popularity after Emest Hemingway included it in the epigraph of his novel The Sun Also Rises (published in 1926).

As the story goes, Stein came upon the term when an auto mechanic upset with his young employee’s unsatisfactory work on her car, referred to the nation’s youth as a lost generation, difficult to prepare for work or focus

The Lost Generation, therefore, referred to that group of men and women who came of age during the First World War and felt disillusioned in the unfamiliar post-war world.

In literature, the Lost Generation was a group of American writers, most of whom immigrated to Europe and worked there from the end of World War I until the Great Depression.

A bohemian lifestyle of travel among intellectuals felt more appealing than remaining in a place where virtuous behaviour no longer existed, faith in religion was broken, and a connection to morality was questionable at best. So, the expatriate writers living in Europe wrote about the trials and tribulations of this Lost Generation, while, being a part of it themselves.

The most famous writers of the Lost Generation include Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot.

Picture Credit : Google 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *