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The Roaring 20's and the Golden Age was a chic time in our history. Great music, parties, alcohol, etc. The whole party lifestyle was what it was all about. You got money, you were exalted because this allowed a party to be thrown, however it has its negatives. This excessive party lifestyle causes people to be hauteur, not thinking there are consequences in life. Life without consequence; is this realistic? During this time of prosperity and moral backlash, young adults traveled to the bars and dance halls of Europe or the extravagant parties of the American east coast looking for happiness. There are written novels about the lifestyle of this society. The most notorious of these books is F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and Ernest Hemmingway's book, "The Sun Also Rises." These books focus on the theme of life without consequences. Fitzgerald wrote with great description of the lavishness of their lives and Hemmingway talks about this generation in a very serious way that leaves the reader with a heavy feeling of disbelieve that the characters can live like this. Both authors point to the conclusion that if your goal is to live without suffering consequences of your action, you will not live a full human existence.
Throughout the novel of The Great Gatsby the reader is introduced to a vivid description of Gatsby's convivial parties and details of his mansion. It could be easily said that Gatsby had everything a person could want in life, money, and friends and surrounded by the luxuries of life. However, Fitzgerald decides to use his novel as an allegory to show his readers what will happen if this sort of life without consequences is attempted and people live impetuously. The main example of this is the death of Gatsby. George is obviously the murderer since he pulled the trigger, but others were responsible such as Tom and Daisy. They were morally responsible for the death of Gatsby and they thought they could kill without facing the consequences. Tom can be morally blamed because when George talked to him, Tom told George it was Gatsby's car that hit Myrtle. He never said that Daisy was driving which is something important. It is shown that Tom knew Daisy was the one who killed Myrtle when Nick said, "...and anybody would have said that they were conspiring together," (Fitzgerald, 146) Tom can also be blamed for the killing of Gatsby because of his affair with Myrtle. George killed Gatsby not only because he thought he killed Myrtle, but he believed that Gatsby was the one having a liaison with his wife. Another character at fault is Daisy. Daisy did not think to stop the car after she hit Myrtle. She would also not take responsibility for it but instead, left town. Hit and Run is one of the most irresponsible things you can do and she thought there would be no consequences. These three used exploitation at its finest.
The protagonist, Nick Carraway, is left to tend to Gatsby's funeral. Carraway thought that there would be no problem having tons of people at the funeral since so many flooded his house every weekend. However, even though the people at his perfunctorily parties fought for an invitation to the next celebration, not a single one would attend his funeral besides Nick, Gatsby's father, a few servants, the post man and a party-goer. Gatsby was a victim of the generation. The generation that believed nothing and no one could stop them from having a good time with the wrong ethics. They just wanted to ignore the real world and be obstinate. What kind of people uses someone for their parties and not pays their respects at a funeral?
Another book that is an example of an allegory of life with consequences is "The Sun Also Rises.". His main characters Jake, Brett, Cohn, and Mike depict this type of manner. All of these characters fly by in life, looking for a bar or nightclub in the pursuit of happiness. Brett is what most would consider a modern woman, one that disregarded all moral standards and values. Cohn is independently wealthy since his mother gives him an allowance every month so he doesn't care about working. Mike is poor but that does not stop him from spending money in the bars of Europe and Jake, the narrator of the story, also shows irresponsibility. Each of these people in their own way represents this non-responsibility lifestyle either by choosing to ignore them or stay completely intoxicated to avoid consequences. Mike can't deal with the fact that he lost everything he had ever made for himself so he just doesn't try anymore, Brett is afraid of true love that she does not have control over, and Cohn is hubris because he has financial independence so that gives him a jackass mentality.
A great example of this lifestyle is at the bullfights of Pamplona Spain. During these bullfights there is a large celebration, the fiesta. During this fiesta, Jake admits that he and his friends deflect responsibility of their actions and create a fictitious world cannot last forever, that's why they get wasted. He states, "The things that happened could only have happened during a fiesta. Everything became quite unreal finally and it seemed as though nothing could have any consequences during the fiesta. It seemed out of place to think of consequences during the fiesta." (Hemingway 158). Bullfights symbolize this quote of denying consequences of dangerous actions. The bullfighter must not fear the bull otherwise he will die, but if he is not aware of the bull's power, he will lose. Hemingway believes that a person should not live life safely but takes risks and suffer the penalties. He believes that this is a strong thing for character development.
Being a teenager, life without consequences is what many of us live by, some not to an extreme extent but we still do. We show this either from being at school, with friends, family, and our society. Teens believe that for some reason that it is the cool thing to do. We are introduced to sex, drugs, alcohol and other temptations that we sometimes indulge in without thinking about the aftermath. A personal experience I have with it is sometimes on the weekend. I never drink or smoke because I see what it does to people. They get in trouble with parents, lose respect from others, and just feel like crap afterwards. However, they always go back to that lifestyle. It is like an addiction they know is bad afterwards, but during that time they escape reality and the stresses of life. This is just like the characters of the books. Hemmingway and Fitzgerald did a great job showing this.
Both authors point to the conclusion that if your goal is to live without suffering consequences of your action, you will not live a full human existence. This basically means that you need to have responsibility in your life. It shapes you as a good person and helps become the best person you can be. These two authors really depicted the life in the Roaring 20's and used their literary skills to teach is a lesson. The books were different but yet very similar in this way. Life without consequences? This is not possible from what these books stat.