Imagine you were a immature adult female in the 1920s. World War I is eventually over. and you are lucky plenty to hold survived the horrors of the war. you returned home. populate your life to the fullest. You are portion of tremendous societal and economical alterations ; you gained the right to vote. you day of the month. wear make-up. indulge in foolhardy parties. the consumer civilization thrives ; ideals and ethical motives greatly shift. You are now able to dress. talk and walk like your male opposite numbers. You drive autos. fume. and even imbibe in public. In other words. you are liberated in any possible manner and portion of a new rebellious coevals. You are the so called Flapper of the Jazz Age.
Wholly. one might nowadays leap to the decision that it must hold been an exciting. breathtaking. and thrilling clip in history. Indeed. the two quintessential paperss of the Roaring Twenties ; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Besides Rises. make demo this unbelievable side of the period. However. they besides bear informant to the fact that there is every bit good. another. more glooming and dark side to it. There is more to this than meets the oculus. The term the Lost Generation was coined in order to explicate that it was more hard than expected to return to normalcy. Furthermore. the immature work forces and adult females who experienced the war go morally lost and could no longer rely on tradition. They lived meaningless lives and the empty chase of pleasance was merely an flight from world. They were emotional cripples. who suffered injury and were no longer able to
trust. love or esteem each other:
They found themselves expected to settle down into the commonplace modus operandi of American life as if nil had happened. to accept the moral pronouncement of seniors who seemed to them still to be populating in a Pollyanna land of rose-colored ideals which the war had killed for them. They couldn’t do it. and they really disrespectfully said so. ( Allen )
Both Hemingway. and Fitzgerald document the tremendous economical and societal alterations which take topographic point and present the reader to typical Flapper characters in their plants ; Lady Brett Ashley. Daisy Buchanan. and Jordan Baker represent the common attitude of the clip. At first glimpse. the reader frequently Judgess them to be instead shallow. careless. foolish. bored. seductive. hungering esthesis. even neurotic adult females. But. if one looks deeper into their personalities ; one can see that there is more behind that and it becomes clear that such a narrow position and judgement of their characters is far excessively simplistic and that they. really. make attention. Surely. Fitzgerald and Hemingway invariably provide the reader with inside informations which make it difficult to deny that these adult females are non apathetic. unworthy. selfish.
One finds out that Daisy seems to be wholly apathetic to her small girl. non being at all a devoted and caring female parent. Still. the words she says after giving birth to her babe miss are someway challenging:
“Well. she was less than an hr old and Tom was God knows where. I woke up out of the quintessence with an utterly abandoned feeling. and asked the nurse right off if it was a male child or a miss. She told me it was a miss. and so I turned my caput off and wept. ’All right’ . I said. ‘I’m glad it’s a miss. And I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a miss can be in this universe. a beautiful small sap. ” ( Fitzgerald 17 )
In fact. here Daisy shows that she is vulnerable to emotions. she is non shallow. so. she has been hurt and suffered in the yesteryear. Her wish for her girl to go such a “fool” sounds rough. cruel. but it is a desire to protect her from sing the acrimonious hurting that Daisy herself seems to hold known excessively good.
Jordan Baker seems to be merely as unable to experience and show strong emotions. as Daisy. She is beautiful. charming. and magnetic. Nick observes that she is “incurably dishonest” . still he someway is attracted to her and she makes him funny:
The world-weary haughty face that she turned to the universe concealed something—most mannerisms conceal something finally. even though they don’t in the beginning— ( Fitzgerald 58 )
This citation suggests that Jordan is non a stock character. there are grounds why she behaves the manner she does. and we can non judge her for her cold misanthropic attitude because she. evidently has gone through hurting in her life and merely like Daisy wants to shelter herself from farther hurting or letdown. The reader wonders what could perchance hold happened to a adult female who is ready to travel out on a day of the month merely hours after the calamity of Myrtle being killed. It is grounds that she is profoundly affected.
Furthermore. Daisy is characterized by Nick as a careless individual who smashes things up and so withdraw behind her money. We are able to see it best when she chooses to go forth town together with Tom. instantly after the accident. non stating a word and go forthing Gatsby buttocks. even though he took all the incrimination on him. Still. Daisy loved Gatsby. After he went to war she stopped socialising and waited for over a twelvemonth for him to come back. If she ne’er cared for him. or ne’er had any true feelings. she would non make so. In add-on. the reader sees the manner she looks at Gatsby after their reunion ; she admires him verbally and can non maintain her custodies off him. Now. why so she chooses to get married Tom and leave Gatsby behind? :
Backed against the wall. she finally chooses Tom. though she knows that neither can run into her demands by himself. Tom can non fulfill her outlooks of romantic devotedness. and Gatsby. who made his luck illicitly. can non run into her demand for stableness and societal reputability. Daisy’s insisting that she loved them both is honest—she loved Gatsby in a romantic manner. and she loved Tom in a more practical manner. ( Fryer )
Daisy craves for stableness and a certain construction in life. something Tom as being “old money” can. and Gatsby and his “new money” . ne’er will be able to offer her.
Hemingway’s typical Flapper character. Lady Brett Ashley is an independent. capturing. strong adult female who cuts her hair short and has an about charming power over all male characters in the novel. The Sun Besides Rises seems to be an eternal hedonic party. They do nil but indulge in intoxicant. sex. nutrient. tauromachy. siestas. Life is absolute cloud nine. However. cipher seems to be happy. Brett has been a nurse on the Italian forepart and the war took the life of her first love. It is difficult to even conceive of what sort of scenes she was exposed to every individual twenty-four hours on the battleground. The war and the formation of her character must be connected:
… . she survives the colossal force. the break of her personal life. and the exposure to mass promiscuousness. to face a moral and emotional vacuity among her postwar lovers. With this grounds of male default all around her. she steps off the romantic base. moves freely through the bars of Paris. and stands confidently there beside her newfound equals… But Stoic or non. they are all incapable of love. and in their sober minutes they seem to cognize it…together they form a brace of honorable cripples. ( Spilka )
Brett and the others are all immature people who no longer believe in anything. and how could they? The hedonic society is the lone flight for them. the lone manner non to believe about the atrocious images which are burnt into their memories.
Brett is really much aware of the fact that she is able to destroy the immature and energetic toreador Pedro Romero. She does non desire to be “one of those bitches who ruins children” . here she eventually seems to be moral. she admits that she can non populate with a adult male. without destructing him. Precisely this kills the semblance that she and Jake would hold become true lovers. if merely he had non been wounded and had non lost his manhood in war. The shutting lines are cogent evidence for this disenchantment:
“Oh. Jake. “Brett said. “we could hold had such a blasted good clip together. ”… “Yes. I said. “Isn’t it reasonably to believe so? “ ( Hemingway 287 ) .
These lines confirm that Jake realizes how this is a prevarication. and to see that it could hold happened. is merely. absurd. They would still be this emotionally impotent people. Love is dead for their coevals and it was inevitable to go that manner after the dazes of the war.
All in all. yes. it is true that the 1920s were exciting. breathtaking. thrilling times. but there is more to this than meets the eye- the Lost Generation and their tattered dreams. moral values and beliefs. Many would claim that the Flapper attitude. their foolhardy life style and behaviour. was intolerable and tend to fault adult females such Daisy. Jordan or Brett because they were given all these privileges their unliberated female parents and grandmas ne’er were. They should hold been happy to hold survived the war and concentrate on more positive ends alternatively of populating empty lives.
The truth is that they all are disillusioned and urgently crave for a sense of security. Possibly they deserve more commiseration than incrimination. And. even though these adult females seem to be superficial. they are. really caring. The perceptual experience of the universe became a different one and their behaviour is a natural urge in order to protect themselves. Finally. the gap words of The Great Gatsby express in a fantastic manner that one should ne’er judge people until one has walked a stat mi in their places and expression at the other side of the coin from clip to clip.
In my younger and more vulnerable old ages my male parent gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my head of all time since. “Whenever you feel like knocking any one. ” he told me. “ merely retrieve that all the people in this universe haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had. ( Fitzgerald 1 )
Fitzgerald. F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1953.
Hemingway. Ernest. The Sun Besides Rises. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1970.
Frederick Lewis Allen. Merely Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen-Twenties. New York: Harper & A ; Brothers Publishers. 1931. 94.
Spilka. Mark. “The Death of Love in The Sun Besides Rises. Hemingway. ” A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Robert P. Weeks. New York: Chelsea. 1987. 127-138.
Fryer. Sarah Beebe. “Beneath the Mask: The Plight of Daisy Buchanan. ” Critical Essays on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Ed. Scott Donaldson. Boston: G. K. Hall. 1984. 153-166.