Did She See the Life of the Lost Generation Coming?
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Did She See the Life of the Lost Generation Coming? The poem "Praematuri" by Margaret Postgate Cole alludes to the idea of a life style change after World War I. The novel, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway captures the life style change during the post-war era. The name given to this era is the Lost Generation. The epigraph at the beginning of the novel quotes Gertrude Stein by saying, "You are all a lost generation." A person that lived during the Lost Generation means that they were directly affected or traumatized by the war. Cole's poem "Praematuri" anticipates the rise of the Lost Generation after World War I through the poem's title, the situational irony, the use of language and repetitive diction. The significance of the poems title predicts the Lost Generation, not only because of the definition, but the connotations as well. The poem's title "Praematuri" translates to premature death. A premature death perfectly describes the Lost Generation. In The Sun Also Rises, all the main characters are members of the Lost Generation.
The Lost Generation experienced life just like Brett. The irony of the poem leads to this idea of the Lost Generation. The language stresses Cole's deduction of the future of the people in Europe. In the first stanza, Cole uses words that give off a depressing vibe to the poem. Word such as, "old", "die", "slow", "wound", "pain", and "alone" show the sad lives that these people lived.(Cole l. 1-5) Their friends have died in the war and they feel alone. Cole goes on and says that, "their love is running slow" meaning that since they lost their friends, they feel like they do not have people to love.(Cole l.3) It feels so bad that some people even blamed God for what happened during the war. For instance, Jake Barnes lost his ability to be sexually active in the war. He indirectly blamed God for his injury since he could not consummate his love for Lady Brett Ashley. The poem goes on and talks about how the Lost Generation will not be able to, "spring from the wound with so sharp a pain".
The use of repetition in the poem helps stress the coming of the Lost Generation as well as how bad it will be. The poem ''Praematuri'' by Margaret Postgate Cole accurately predicts the rise of the Lost Generation as seen in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. Cole could tell that the post World War I era would be tough for the European citizens. Through the title, situational irony, language and repetitive diction, Cole is able to predict the future. Since the title translates to ''premature death'', it is perfectly fitting because the lives of Lost Generation were almost pointless since they lost interest in living life to the fullest. The situational irony that comes up throughout the poem captures how the Lost Generation lived in the past versus the present. The words chosen also anticipated the rise of the Lost Generation because they expressed the overall depression that came about during the post World War I era. Lastly, the repetitive diction between the first and second stanzas contrasts the pros and cons of the lifestyle of the Lost Generation. The poem ''Praematuri'' does anticipate the change in lifestyle during the post World War I, known as the Lost Generation.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.
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