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The Lost Generation and 1920s Pop Culture

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Lost Generation

--Coined by Gertrude Stein, who said, "You are all a Lost Generation."

The "Lost Generation" was lost in that the values that its members were being taught didn't fit the reality of life after the brutal and horrifying World War I. The group of writers who moved to Paris believed that America was intolerant, materialistic, and unspiritual. They helped to establish many of the styles and themes that are still used in literature today.

The "Lost Generation"-
1)group of disillusioned American authors who lived in Paris in the 1920's and 1930's (younger literary modernists)
2)generation of young people in the United States shortly after World War I
3)Two "Lost Generation" presidents were Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower

Characteristics of "Lost Generation" Authors

~youthful idealism

~sought the meaning of life

~drank a lot

~often love affairs

~many of the finest literary masterpieces were written during this period

~rejected modern American materialism

~lived in Paris

~gained prominence in twentieth century literature and created a mold for many future writers

Examples of Prominent Authors

Ernest Hemingway- led in the adaptation of the technique of naturalism in literature; wrote The Sun Also Rises, a naturalistic novel that included post-war disillusionment

F. Scott Fitzgerald- portrayed the spirit of the "Jazz Age"; wrote The Great Gatsby, which also was an expression of disillusionment

John Dos Passos- questioned the meaning of modern life; his novel Manhatten Transfer portrays the hopelessness of live in American cities

Common "Lost Generation" Members

The common people of the "Lost Generation" (born from 1883 to 1900)grew up in a time when mass immigration was occuring and America was changing drastically. Upon the return of the soldiers from WWI, the American lifestyle was altered. Many became disillusioned and they became known as the "bad kids" and "flaming youth." Doughboys, flappers, gangsters, and stars were all common during the "Roaring Twenties." However, the twenties came to a close with a bang when the Stock Market crashed, ending the spirit of the 1920's.

Members of the Lost Generation


Members of the Lost Generation were often disillusioned and tried desperately to live normal lives regardless of the tragic effects of the Great World War. Many wives were left without husbands, children without fathers, and mothers without sons. However, they were forced to continue living as normal through the 1920's.

Significant "Lost Generation" Members

Ernest Hemingway
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ezra Pound
Sherwood Anderson
Waldo Peirce
Sylvia Beach
Gertrude Stein
John Dos Passos E.E. Cummings Archibald MacLeish Hart Crane T.S. Eliot

Famous Literary Works

The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Waste Land- T.S. Eliot
The Sun Also Rises- Ernest Hemingway
Babbitt- Sinclair Lewis
The Sound and the Fury- William Faulkner
The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
All Quiet on the Western Front- Erich Maria Remarque

This site was created by Jamie Lisenby.

Arthur M. Saltzman. "Lost Generation." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006. World Book, Inc. 2 Mar. 2006 <>.

"Lost Generation." Brittanica. CD_ROM. ed. 2003.

"The Lost Generation." Wikipedia. Wikipedia. 02 Mar. 2006 <>.