The Lost Generation: American Literature between the World Wars

Home/ The Lost Generation: American Literature between the World Wars
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Discipline CoreSOL2EN3164

Semester and Year Offered: 3rd semester, MS2021

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr Usha Mudiganti

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None

Course Objectives/Description:

This course will attempt to examine the ways in which literature grappled with the changes in American society. Through a detailed reading of a few literary texts, we will attempt to understand the difficult coming of age of the American nation. America’s decision to join the Allied Nations in World War I in 1917 led to radical changes in American society. A largely agrarian nation found itself in the midst of international affairs. Its involvement in the war changed the social, political and cultural life of the nation. The literature written during this period reflects the conflicts and confusions that formed the modern United States of America.

Course Outcomes:

  • Gain knowledge of Amercian culture and beliefs and a global perspective
  • Develop reflective thinking
  • Demonstrate and ability to build an academic argument with a critical perspective

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Introduction: This module will introduce the American Dream, the Declaration of the Rights of Man, debates on American Individualism, American language and literature and the idea of The Lost Generation
  2. First Impressions: In this module, we will discuss the literature written by Americans in Paris and in other parts of Europe and their reflections on America and move on to the literature emerging from the Unites States in the same period. We will try and understand literary representations of American identity from their respective locations.
  3. Years of The Great Depression and the Great Migration: The focus of the module will be the Harlem Renaissance and the effects of the Great Depression.
  4. The After Effects: In this final module, we will look at the after-effects of the War, the Great Depression and the United States new power in global affairs.

Assessment Details with weights:

S. No.




Class Assignment (2)



Mid-semester Exam



Class Presentation



Term Paper




Reading List:

  • Mencken, H L. “Preface to The American Language”
  • Hoover, Herbert. “On American Individualism”
  • Lewis, Sinclair. The Nobel Address: “The Fear of Literature”
  • Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises
  • Pound, Ezra. “A Pact”, and “In a Station of the Metro” H. D. “Oread”
  • Williams, William Carlos. “The Red Wheelbarrow”
  • Stevens, Wallace. “Sunday Morning”
  • Moore, Marianne. “Poetry”
  • Frost, Robert. “Fire and Ice”, and “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”
  • Hurston, Zora Neale. “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”
  • Hughes, Langston. “I, too Sing America”
  • Taggard, Genevieve.“Mill Town”
  • Crane, Hart. “To Brooklyn Bridge”
  • Porter, Katherine Ann. “Flowering Judas”.
  • Faulkner, William. “The Bear”.
  • Welty, Eudora. “Why I Live at the P. O.”.
  • Fitzgerald, F Scott. Tender is the Night


  • Midnight in Paris, Hemingway and Gellhorn, and Girl, Interrupted.