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Expatriate American Authors in Paris

Disillusionment with the American Lifestyle as Reflected in Selected Works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald

©2001 Magisterarbeit 102 Seiten


Paris has traditionally called to the American heart, beginning with the arrival of Benjamin Franklin in 1776 in an effort to win the support of France for the colonies’ War of Independence. Franklin would remain in Paris for nine years, returning to Philadelphia in 1785. Then, in the first great period of American literature before 1860, literary pioneers such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathaniel Hawthorne were all to spend time in the French capital. Henry James, toward the close of the nineteenth century, was the first to create the image of a talented literary artist who was ready to foreswear his citizenship. From his adopted home in England he traveled widely through Italy and France, living in Paris for two years. There he became close friends with another literary expatriate, Edith Wharton, who made Paris her permanent home. Between them they gave the term „expatriate” a high literary polish at the turn of the century, and their prestige was undeniable. They were the ‘in’ cosmopolitans, sought out by traveling Americans, commented on in the press, the favored guests of scholars, as well as men and women of affairs.
This thesis investigates the mass expatriation of Americans to Paris during the 1920s, and then focuses on selected works by two of the expatriates: Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926) and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). The specific emphasis is on disillusionment with the American lifestyle as reflected in these novels. The two books have been chosen because both are prominent examples of the literary criticism that Americans were directing at their homeland from abroad throughout the twenties.
In a first step, necessary historical background regarding the nature of the American lifestyle is provided in chapter two. This information is included in order to facilitate a better understanding of what Hemingway and Fitzgerald were actually disillusioned with. Furthermore, that lifestyle was a primary motivating factor behind the expatriation of many United States citizens. Attention is given to the extraordinary nature of the American migration to Paris in the twenties, as the sheer volume of exiles set it apart from any expatriation movement – before or since – in American history. Moreover, a vast majority of the participants were writers, artists, or intellectuals, a fact which suggests the United States during […]




ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
634 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Paderborn – 3, Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften
2001 (März)
lost generation expatriates paris fitzgerald hemingway

Titel: Expatriate American Authors in Paris
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102 Seiten