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Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation

90 min
  • Students will identify the impact of World War I on the United States.
  • Students will describe how the literature of Ernest Hemingway represented an attempt to wrestle with the social and cultural effects of World War I.

Students should work in pairs at times in this lesson. They will collaborate in decoding the various documents and coming to a conclusion from them.

Students will examine the first document in Handout A to examine the costs of World War I among the allies. They will complete the comprehension and reflection questions, then share and compare their conclusions with a partner.

Students will study the remaining three documents in Handout A and complete the comprehension questions.

Each student will compose a reflection essay on themes in the literature of Ernest Hemingway, and how his work helps us understand the impact of World War I on the worldview of the “lost generation.” In their essay, students must cite and quote all the sources provided.

  1. How did the experience of war itself lead to changes in the Lost Generation’s view of social norms and societal roles?
  2. How was the view of right and wrong changed by those who experienced the war?
  3. How did the war continue to affect soldiers even after it was over? How did it affect their relationships with those who did not experience the fighting?

The teacher will lead a class discussion addressing the themes from the reflections. Students will be called on to cite passages they identified in their essays on each theme.