A Moveable Feast


Ernest Hemingway

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Themes and Colors
Creation vs. Critique Theme Icon
Hunger vs. Consumption Theme Icon
Success, Gossip, and Fame Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Friendship Theme Icon
Happiness and Sadness Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Moveable Feast, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Creation vs. Critique

A Moveable Feast chronicles an early stage in Hemingway’s career as a writer, highlighting how his life in the creative and intellectual community of Paris helped shape the development of his craft. The act of writing features prominently in the book, with many scenes of Hemingway inventing and revising stories, writing in cafés, and receiving constructive criticism from his peers. The book can thus be thought of as a metanarrative, meaning that Hemingway draws…

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Hunger vs. Consumption

One of the distinctive features of A Moveable Feast is the way in which Hemingway combines accounts of his interactions with some of the most important cultural figures of the 20th century with observations about the ordinary details of his everyday life. Above all, Hemingway pays particular attention to hunger, eating, and drinking. Hunger plays a large role in Hemingway’s life; he twice describes himself as “always hungry” and he argues that being hungry in…

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Success, Gossip, and Fame

During the time in which the book is set, Hemingway is still at an early stage of his career as a writer—he has yet to achieve the fame and critical recognition bestowed on him later in his life. Indeed, Hemingway writes that until receiving praise from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I had felt that what a great writer I was had been carefully kept secret between myself and my wife and only those people we…

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Love, Sex, and Friendship

Although A Moveable Feast is autobiographical, its main focus is arguably not Hemingway himself, but rather his relationships with others. The descriptions of Hemingway’s friendships with other artists and writers emphasize his role within an important creative community, but they also form significant meditations on the nature of friendship itself. Hemingway is clearly preoccupied with what it means to be a good friend. He describes the details of Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas’ hospitality, and…

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Happiness and Sadness

A Moveable Feast is written through a retrospective perspective, and Hemingway often emphasizes that the innocent and easy happiness he felt during his years in Paris was wonderful at the time, yet was doomed to end. Indeed, although he and Hadley repeatedly bask in how “lucky” and “happy” they are, there is a strong sense that Hemingway is distrustful of happiness and that he believes that the truth and reality of life is in fact…

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