“The Hemingway World” How does one fine meaning in a world where

“The Hemingway World”
How does one fine meaning in a world where all traditional values and institutions have been destabilized? For Ernest Hemingway, a member of the “Lost Generation” who experienced the horrors and alienation of World War I, the search for meaning occurs in a world marked by violence, brutality, pain and alienation. In this world meaning is not longer found in traditional institutions like romantic love, marriage, family, religion, and patriotism—Victorian morality, propriety and idealism is found absurd. Alienation rooted in industrialization asserted as cold and uncaring, dislocates and dissolutions humanity to the point of nihilism. No longer autonomous, individual existence is determined by Freud’s psyche and Marx’s means of production. Isolated, alone, and disaffected, all avenues of communication between human beings—between men and women, government and citizens, industry and labor—are rendered useless. In this world Hemingway finds meaning in nature, the individual, and a passion for life. Through To Have and Have not we find a world marked by unexpected violence, a loss of faith, and the failure of traditional institutions ameliorated by the humanization of lost men who create meaning in a job well done while living up to their own values.