The Expatriates of the 1920’s


1: to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one’s native nation
two: intransitive senses: to leave one’s native country to reside elsewhere also: to renounce allegiance to one’s native country
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Practically nothing before, or since has equaled the mass expatriation of the 1920’s. It was as if a terrific draft of wind picked up these quite peculiar persons and dropped them off in a European life style. Europe and the rest of the planet had been beginning to see a large population of these American expatriates. “… the younger and footloose intellectuals went streaming up the longest gangplank in the world.” (Cowley 79) Along with the intellectuals went the wealthy elite, the recent college graduates, the art students, and the recent war veterans aptly known as “The Lost Generation”. Despite the fact that numerous went all over the globe, the largest density of these expatriates was in France. “Indeed, to young writers like ourselves, a long sojourn in France was virtually a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.” (Cowley 102)

Numerous expatriates flocked to Paris to follow forerunners in the movement such as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Most of the expatriates wished to have an introduction to Gertrude Stein at her apartment. There they would discuss art, literature, and the ideals of America for hours on end. Gertrude Stein characterized the expatriates’ view of America when she mentioned, “America is my nation, and Paris is my house town”. (Stein) This notion, of getting a place that you take into account your household, but not your homeland, is the basis of the expatriate movement.

The writing of this era was influenced by a few issues. With the new tips of America, there also came a great deal criticism of it to. Just after Planet War 1, lots of Americans became somewhat dissatisfied with the way that their own country’s people and leaders acted. This was also a catalyst in the huge expatriation that occurred. Also, it is speculated that a lot of war veterans could have developed many and unknown issues triggered by the variety of warfare in which they had taken component. The optimistic culture of The Roaring Twenties also could have been a aspect in the attitudes towards America and the writing that created from it.

Through a close study of the Expatriates, I will propose this list of probable influences towards the attitudes and writing that occurred. 1.) Globe War One, and the physical affects that it developed amongst American and…

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