Hemingway and Dos Passos: The 1930s

Conference: The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH2020)
Title: Hemingway and Dos Passos: The 1930s
Stream: Arts - Literary Arts Practices
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Majed S. Al-Lehaibi, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia


Herbert Solow’s declaration (of April 1938 ) in "Substitution at Left Tackle: Hemingway for Dos Passos" (Partisan Review 4- April 1938, pp 62-64) refers to the idea that Dos Passos, who had been strongly leftist since 1916, began in the second half of the 1930s after a period of aloofness to move away from that philosophy while Hemingway began to move towards it, thus falling into the popular front’s anti-fascist ideology. To begin, U.S.A. spells out Dos Passos’ suspicion “of anyone with rank and position, distrusting all those who held economic or political power…[his concern is] how to preserve the sanctity of the individual” (Pells, p. 237). He saw communism becoming a system, a huge establishment (similar to industrial capitalism) of hypocrites hoping to rise within the Communist hierarchy without sensitivity to ordinary human needs. As evidenced in the execution of Sacco and Venzetti, Dos Passos asserted his famous concept of two nations, two Americas: The owners, who had the police power and ran the big institutions, and the dispossessed masses of people. The case of Sacco and Venzetti is symbolic of the struggle between the “two nations” of ordinary people versus the institutions.