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Modern European History. Speaks Of Paul Valery And What He Meant By Saying That Europe Doubted Itself Profoundly

823 words - 3 pages

1. What did Paul Valery mean in saying that the mind of Europe doubted itselfprofoundly?Before 1914, people in Europe believed in progress, peace, prosperity, reason,and rights of individuals. During that time, people began to believe in theEnlightenment, industrial developments were just starting and scientific advancesbegan to take place. People then really believed in progression and furtherdevelopments.Unfortunately, World War I broke out. Nevertheless, the optimistic people ofEurope still did not doubt the outcome and were so convinced that it was not going tohave any long term effects. They looked toward happier times and hoped life will goback to where it was before. But little did they know, as a result of the war, total warbroke out and crushed all the hopes and accomplishments that the people hadestablished. This shocking reality was unbearable and uncomprehending to thepeople's hopes and dreams. And as this lasted over the years, the age of anxiety wascreated. People didn't know or what to expect anymore. They did not know what wasgoing to happen after the war. They're so devastated by the war that many who werestill alive lost faith and all hopes. Many intellectuals began to doubt theEnlightenment and even the future of Western civilization. This state of uncertaintyand unpredictability brought out many modern philosophers of that time. One of themwas a French poet and critic Paul Valery. He stated that 'Europe was looking at itsfuture with dark foreboding.' In his writings, he said that 'The storm has died away,and still we are restless, uneasy, as if the storm were about to break.' The storm inthis case was the war. People were so terrified by it that they were still in shock andunsure of its outcome and consequence and the possibility that it might cause anotherwar to break out. Valery saw that many people suffered from anxiety. He argued thatthe people looked at the future with great unease and discomfort for what the war haddone and what the war will cause. He also suggested that 'Europe doubted itselfprofoundly' because of all the lost of all optimistic ideas and accomplishments.People did not have to strength or will to believe in themselves anymore. They weretoo devastated by the war. They also saw no hope and thus doubted themselves formaking any more progress.2. Why do you think many veterans felt that they were part of a lost generation?Veterans during the war were just realizing what the war is all about. They sawwhat the war had done to people's lives and body...

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