The works ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Sun also Rises’ by Ernest Hemingway are considered to be real masterpieces of world literature; both works are based on the reflection of historical setting characterized as ‘roaring twenties’. It is necessary to underline the fact that the books serve as the background for the new horrible ideology creation in modern history; the works appeared to provide the scientific racial policies backing of the German Nazi party. ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Sun also Rises’ by Ernest Hemingway touched the themes of human challenges under the impact of war events underlining the concepts of racism and isolation.
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Ernest Hemingway disclosed the theme of detachment and alienation through the time attitudes reflection; the work ‘The Sun Also Rises’, written in 1926, is considered to be a type of semi-autobiography depicting the author’s adventures in Spain and France in 1924-25. It is necessary to underline the fact that the book is concentrated on the events characterizing the English and American expatriates’ group traveling to Pamplona; the work appeared to bring true success to the author becoming a bible for the majority of disillusioned individuals. Hemingway managed to create the masterpiece of fictional literature reflecting the social alienation and moral decay feelings of the Lost Generation.
To analyze the work in more detail, it is necessary to consider the principle themes highlighted by Hemingway; the lost generation’s aimlessness was clearly illustrated through the war undercut of traditional norms of morality. The book demonstrated the idea of people’s losing their morality and psychological strength as a result of war events pressure.
‘You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed with sex. You spend all your time talking, not working’. (Hemingway, 120)
The book is considered to be the instructional psychology on the manners of behavior in the territory of the wasteland. According to Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway successfully created ‘a romance and a guidebook’; this combination of style and themes allowed the author to create a deep presentation of personal experience through the feelings and emotions of his characters. Analyzing the style of the book, it should be stressed that the story is written in the first-person narration; Jake Barnes’ story is the character embodying Hemingway in reality, though the author inserted some considerable differences between him and the narrative in the aspects of personal life and professional achievements.
The work of Hemingway is to be compared to the book ‘The Great Gatsby’ written by Scott Fitzgerald, which is concentrated on the presentation of the rise and fall of its protagonist, Jay Gatsby. As well as Hemingway, Fitzgerald wrote the book in the first-person narrative, revealing the story of a racketeer Jay Gatz by Nick Carraway.
Hemingway managed to disclose the themes of male insecurity and sex destructiveness on the basis of radical reevaluation of the pre-war concepts. The theme of racism can be observed throughout the whole story characterizing the heroes’ interpersonal relationships.
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‘…the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton’ (Hemingway, 3)
It should be noted that the author strived to compare the values appreciated before the war start and rapid changes of these elements after it. Robert Cohn, one of the central figures of the story, is presented as the outworn faith defender and the last chivalric hero; Hemingway managed to use this character as the method of transforming attempts of saving the morality and standardized pre-war norms.
Similar to Hemingway’s story, Fitzgerald depicted the theme of moral observations through the characters; the pressure of social order and prejudices are considered to be the principal indicator of character’s challenging in the behavior and world perception. The theme of racism is shown on the basis of materialistic and corrupt Tom and Daisy Buchanan; besides, Nick Carraway depicts demeaning speaking of Jews.
A small flat-nosed Jew raised his large head and regarded me with two fine growths of hair that luxuriated in either nostril. After a moment I discovered his tiny eyes in the half-darkness’ (Fitzgerald, 55)
The characters in both books are considered to be the indicators of racism promotion in the after-war period; the description of physical characteristics and moral conditions are demonstrated as the features of ethnic differences, giving strengths and privileges, or weaknesses and humiliation feelings.
‘…among various physical accomplishments, had been one of the most powerful ends that ever-played football at New Haven – a national figure in a way’ (Fitzgerald, 10)
The analysis of Fitzgerald’s manner of writing, language, and style allowed evaluating basic characteristics of the literature stylistics of that period; this very feature explains the similarities between the ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Sun also Rises’ by Ernest Hemingway.
The analysis of two masterpieces of the world literature allowed comparing and contrasting two totally different works, such as ‘The Great Gatsby’ by Scott Fitzgerald and ‘The Sun also Rises’ by Ernest Hemingway; it is necessary to stress that the authors managed to reflect the themes of moral isolation and racism promotion in the after-war period in the various style and structure, though preserving the most important features of the ‘roaring twenties.
Fitzgerald, F.C. The Great Gatsby. Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Hemingway, E. The Sun Also Rises. Spark Publishing, 2002.