People are defined by their experiences, and similarly, generations are defined by their socioeconomic environments. For instance, Traditionalists are branded by their bravery and resoluteness during WWII and are sometimes referred to as The Greatest Generation. Baby Boomers came on the scene during an economic surplus and grew into the generation that coined the term workaholic. Every generation is affected by positive and negative events surrounding their coming of age, and one of the most historically significant events in human history was the First World War. It was the beginning of globalization and the end of empires. The events of this war defined a generation, and subsequently, produced some of the 20th century’s most influential writers, from Ernest Hemmingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Referred to as The Lost Generation, this group of expatriate writers displayed a new view on life: disillusionment.
Defined, disillusionment is simply the displeasure in discovering something isn’t as it was expected, from life situations to personal relationships to career paths. Everything building up to the Great War suggested one thing, but the turmoil delivered something different entirely. No one believed an apocalyptic event like World War I was possible, so once the dust settled, the war’s aftermath followed. What once was important to some people in The Lost Generation now seemed trivial. The beliefs and values which sustained society before the war were no longer applicable to their current state. This viewpoint led to the Jazz Age, which was characterized as a time of youthful rebellion against traditionalism. The outlandish lifestyles of the Roaring Twenties were epitomized in Fitzgerald’s masterpiece The Great Gatsby. Read More→