Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) born in
Oak Park, Illinois, volunteered for
service as an ambulance driver with the
Italian Army, was seriously wounded
during WWI. From the publication of
his first books he was acclaimed as a
spokesman for the “Lost Generation”—
the young who had been disillusioned
and cast adrift by the murderous
blunders of those who had plunged the
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
To Have and Have Not (1937)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
In Our Time (1925)
Men without Women(1927)
Winner Take Nothing (1933)
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in
The Lost Generation
The term “Lost Generation” was first
used by Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), one
of the leaders of this group.
It included the young English and
American expatriates as well as men
and women caught in the war and cut
off from the old values and yet unable
to come to terms with the new era
when civilization had gone mad.
It means this generation had lost the
beautiful sense of the calm idyllic past.
Stein’s comment suggests the
ambiguous and pointless lives of
expatriates as they aimlessly wandered
about the Continent, drinking, making
love, traveling from place to place and
from party to party. These activities
seem to justify their search for new
meanings to replace the old ones.
Yet in fact, being cut off from their past,
disillusioned in reality, and without a
meaningful future to fall on, they were
lost in disillusionment and existential
voids. They indulged in hedonism in
order to make their life less unbearable.
Text study :A Clean, Well-Lighted Place
Analysis of the three characters:
The old man.
The older waiter.
The young waiter.
Theme of the text:
Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory
Questions to ponder
How do you interpret the irony of the
title after reading the story?
Do you think youth and confidence
can help people withstand the
metaphorical dark? Why or why not?
In what ways do the three characters
differ in the story?