11th Grade — American Novels in the 20th Century: Fitzgerald and Hemingway
Even though it's close to a century since some of Fitzgerald and Hemingway's novels were written, they still appear on just about every 11th grade literature list. Fitzgerald is generally represented by the cautionary tale from the Jazz Age about Jay Gatsby, whose criminal shortcut to the American Dream ends up with him dead, floating in his pool. These articles will help you as you study "The Great Gatsby."
Ernest Hemingway was a contemporary of Fitzgerald's, and they even enjoyed a semi-friendly rivalry in their writing. Fitzgerald's writing is fastidious, teeming with meaning in every syllable. Fitzgerald edited his novels so thoroughly that they each took almost a decade to come to publication.
Hemingway, on the other hand, was not only known as a man of action, but his novels hop from event to event, with a minimum of description, with almost no spare words. The ending scene of "The Sun Also Rises," in which the protagonist walks down the street in the rain, just after the death of his beloved and their child, is so sparsely written that his cold grief washes over the reader, chilling his blood far more than five pages of emotional venting would have. Both "The Sun Also Rises" and "A Farewell to Arms" frequently appear on 11th grade reading lists; occasionally, "The Old Man and the Sea" will as well.