Searching for Meaning While Avoiding Confrontation of the Self

662 WordsFeb 20, 20183 Pages
A contemporary of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, describes the lost generation as the youth that experienced the terrors of World War One. Readers can observe in Hemingway’s novel, The Sun Also Rises, that the expatriates of the lost generation lead frivolous hedonistic lives on a superficial level. Additionally, two concepts relevant to their lifestyles can be observed. The first concept is explained in Hemingway’s ‘Nada’ theory (Miles), which states that when people lose meaning to their lives they’ll see that there is nothing out in the world to appreciate. The second concept is concerned with the confrontation of the self. Analytical psychologist Karl Jung describes each person with a conscious to have a persona and a shadow (Pickren). The Shadow aspects of the self are the true feelings that people have that lie beneath the outward facades. Underneath the outward ‘nada’, the lost generation have a desire to live life to the fullest. Furthermore, they have an innate desire to escape a life of aimless wandering, in order to lead a more meaningful existential lifestyle; however, they are avoiding the confrontation of their tragic pasts and future fears. The lost generation’s tragic pasts have dominated their consciousness to a point where they feel nothing but pleasure seeking urges that hide the fact that they are indecisive towards making life impacting decisions. Yet they recognize that they’re not living their lives to the fullest. The main protagonist, Jake

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