American literature between World Wars
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After the World War I. a group of known as the „Lost generation“ entered literature. They were writers who were influenced by the war, some of they were on the service in the Army like Hemingway or Dos Passos. Their experience resulted in disillusionment. The best were Ernest Hemingway and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
Ernest Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954 for his famous book the Old Man and the Sea, which is about human strength for fighting both external natural things and bad sides of his character. Hemingway became a journalist after the World War I. A Farewell to Arms is one of the best novels about the World War I. It is a love story of an American Lieutenant in the Italian Ambulance Service and an English nurse. For Whom the Bell Tolls is a psychological picture of war on an episode from Spanish Civil War. One of the best parts of the novel is Robert Jordan’s monologue what beautiful place the world is and how much it is worth fighting for. His other famous novels are fiesta, Death in the Afternoon, A Moveable Feast a Islands in the Stream. Hemingway was a master in short story writing.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald is connected with the Jazz Age of the 20s. He wrote money stories about wealthy people, from whom everything is so easy because of money. It is in the book names Tales of the Jazz Age. The Great Gatsby is his best novel – about a very rich man who earns all his money by smuggling. He is doing this because he wants to be on the same level as Daisy, his former lover who had always been rich.
William Faulkner was also Nobel Prize winner. He was a Southerner who wrote a cycle of novels dealing with all possible problems of the South. To this cycle include the novels Light in August, As I Lay Dying, Absolon, Absolon!, The Sound of the Fury.
John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in 1962. He tried to uncover the reasons of social injustice. The Grapes of Wrath describes the Depression following after the crisis of 1929. This novel is a picture of a poor family which is exploited by the fruit-growers in California. His other works are Of Mice and Men, Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, East of Eden…
Theodore Dreiser had a proletarian childhood he became a reporter, editor and novelist. In his naturalist novels he showed the ugly sides of American Life – it is in Sister arrie. His masterpiece is An American Tragedy. His Hero is negative, he becomes a murderer, but it is not the hero who is to blame but the society and the system.
Sinclair Lewis was a little bit younger than Theordore Dreisler, and particularly agree with him. He was the first US writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930. He deals mainly with a small town in the Middle West and its middle-class citizens. He wrote Main Street, Arrowsmith and Babbit.