Modernism released us from the constraints of everything that had gone before with a joyful sense of freedom
Modernists released themselves from the constraints of traditional style and form which ignited a sense of freedom. Luigi Pirandello featured dual realities in the play “Six characters in search of an Author” (1921) as an attempt to break apart contemporary stage reality and generate conflict between life and form. Similarly, EE Cummings experimented with traditions of poetry in “l)a” and “I carry your heart”. In “I carry your heart”, Cummings dusted off the use of conventional grammatical form which created a sense of unity whilst his varied applications of representation in “l)a” signified the rejection of a transparent medium in poetry. Therefore, through modification of style and form, modernists freed themselves from the customary forms of texts and achieved freedom in thought. 121
Modernism gave Pirandello the freedom to invigorate the theatre by dismantling the conventions of a well-made play, and transforming it into metatheatre. Pirandello, inspired by the emerging philosophy of scientific relativism, experiments with the boundaries of blurring realism with illusion, and the greater intensity of dramatic self-representation as the basic impulse behind art. He unravelled the artificiality of the theatre by dismantling his play into real characters and mortal actors of illusions, where the characters persistently insist on the literal accuracy of every movement, gesture, and intonation of the actors. Through a secondary struggle to ascertain who is more real, the fictional characters or the real actors, the father stated “What, haven’t we our own temperaments, our own souls?”. The actors claimed that he can never be more “real” than they since he is unable to change his reality, whereas, the father argued that they are more real in their own parts. Pirandello released himself from the constraints of theatre, essentially mocking the hypocrisy of actors as the centre of a play because they are subject to time whereas the Character's reality remains fixed for eternity. 186
Cummings released his poetry from typical poetic forms, creating a sense of wholeness by pushing poem l)a to the limits of two-dimensional integrity. Taoism is slightly hidden in l)a, with a high degree of inseparability maintained throughout the mixture of Cumming’s own modernist devices and his Taoist dynamics. The presentation of both literal and visual components in l)a is similar to Pirandello’s metatheatre where he presented characters as a separate entity from actors. However, incomplete phrases in l)a evoked feelings of absence, emptiness and utter loneliness which are not explored in Pirandello’s play. A soft fall is presented in the poem where the “loneliness” that existed outside the parenthesis engulfs the whole image of a leaf falling. L)a also functioned visually, where the words inside the parenthesis look like a leaf as it swayed back and forth in...