Writers of the “Lost Generation”
During the 1920s, many American writers, musicians, and painters left the United States to live in Europe. These expatriates, people who left their native country to live elsewhere, often settled in Paris. American writer Gertrude Stein called them the “Lost Generation.” They moved frantically from one European city to another, trying to find meaning in life. Life empty of meaning is the theme of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925).
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the . . . future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
- F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Great Gatsby
1. What seems to be the narrator’s attitude toward the future?
2. How would you describe the overall mood of the excerpt?