Modernism Essay

1476 words - 6 pages

The modernist period in British and Irish literature was one of the most important and exciting times in literary history. The term modernist stemmed from the beginning of the 20th century labelled the modern period. The modern period was a time of confusion and transitions, mostly due to the result of people returning from World War I. The modern period was an era of massive unemployment and technological changes. Freud, Jung, and Marx were redefining human identity, Assembly lines and factories were being introduced, and gender differences were starting to crumble. The modern period was a time of change, and the field of Literature was no exception. Susan Gorsky, in her book titled Virginia Woolf, states that " Virginia Woolf perhaps spoke for the writers coming of age around WWI:" " We are sharply cut off from our predecessors. A shift in the scale - the sudden slip of masses held in position for ages has shaken the fabric from top to bottom, alienated us from the past and made us perhaps too vividly conscious of the present." (Virginia Woolf, 280). The continuous change in life and the constant "shift in the scale" forced writers to take a new approach to literature, creating some of the most read work of the twentieth century.

Modernist authors of the twentieth century reinvented literature. Instead of placing the main focus of storytelling on the story itself, they went one step further and based their novels on the concepts of truth, and the understanding of self. They explored the ideas of consciousness, alienation, and inner conflict within the mind, and asked important questions of the reader while testing the boundaries of the soul. Susan Gorsky, perfectly defines literary modernism, in her book Virginia Woolf "In striving to present the rapid and often disturbing changes in their world, the writers of this era felt it essential to reform their means of expression. Poetry, Drama, and fiction were subjected to intensive scrutiny and extensive redefinition, producing some of the most unusual and often difficult literary creations in English: Eliot's Wasteland, Yeat's Plays for Dancers, and the fiction of Joyce and Lawrence is some examples. Modernist literature reflects in it's structure as well as in it's content the overturning of tradition; the instances upon new design produced plays and stories without plots or recognizably human characters, poems without rhyme or meter"(16, 17). The Modernist author was able to identify with their audience by creating stories that not only asked important questions, but also got under the reader's skin. In George Orwell's essay titled Inside the Whale, he addresses the fact that James Joyce's Ulysses is remarkable due to the fact of its "commonplaceness of its material." (Inside The Whale and Other Essays, 11). The reader is able to put themselves in the characters shoes, the characters are very three dimensional, and like modern life their stories are not so much like a fairy tales, as...

Find Another Essay On Modernism

Modernism vs Post-modernism Essay

1430 words - 6 pages local to national, and even heading globally. People went from waking in the morning and having their town on their minds, to waking up and having their country on their minds.Post modernism is the ever evolving end result of the modern era. While in the modern era new technologies were being learned, now they have become commonplace. Opposition to hierarchies such as those of social status and value are more common due to the newfound power of

Post-Modernism Essay

1181 words - 5 pages In recent years, multiculturalism, tolerance and political correctness have been integrated into how American society thinks. America seems to be trying to learn more about the ingredients of her melting pot. These efforts can be best understood by examining post-modernism. Post-modernism is especially important to breaking down stereotypes such as those that exist surrounding the black family.      To understand post

Understanding Modernism

2048 words - 8 pages . reads as thus: “A SOUND. Elephant beaten with candy and little pops and chews all bolts and reckless reckless rats, this is this” (Stein 259). While this poem might be confusing at first glance, if one takes the time to look at it carefully, then they can see how this poem is a prime example of the Modernist movement and everything Modernists stood for. In order to understand how this poem represents Modernism, it is important to first

Islamic Modernism

674 words - 3 pages elimination of all sources of philosophical knowledge other than Islam. In this sense, Islamism can be viewed as the recourse to the vocabulary of Islam used in the post-colonial period to express an alternative political program, sometimes within the state, or more often against it.Islamic modernism is a socio-political and religious phenomenon that does, therefore, pose a real threat to the existing regimes of Arab and Muslim countries. It is true

Modernism vs Neo-Traditionalism

1052 words - 4 pages Modernism vs Neo-Traditionalism: A debate on the merits and failures of two major competing paradigms in architecture and urban planning.      Beyond the term modernism underlies one of the greatest ideas in architectural development. Modernism was meant to provide more green areas, cheaper housing and more efficient use of space. This was to be accomplished by creating vertically dense spaces with the use of the new

The Modernism Movement

530 words - 2 pages Modernism cannot be defined as strictly an architectural change, thus we cannot limit the influences merely to other works and ideas, although existing works no doubt contributed. Architectural Modernism is, generally speaking, a review of the basics of architecture, creating a simpler, more efficient design. Technology also provided design with more possibilities; it was now possible to think 'outside the square'.Modernism was influenced by the

modernism in latin america

1024 words - 5 pages Latin America is a region of happiness and hatred, but most of all, Latin America is a place of history and change. Like many movements in history there is a rise and fall, the meaning of modernism in the Latin Americas enhances our understanding of humanities because it gives us a better understanding of human experiences at the time and it gives the viewer a sense of connection with those who have come before them. Of those people two of them

Russian Modernism Before 1917

928 words - 4 pages As the twilight of Russian Realism was approaching, Russian modernism was on the way to its awakening. Due to the modernism movement, many different styles of art, and not to mention poetry, came to be. So, what exactly is modernism, one might ask. Modernism is described as breaking up with the past and promoting innovation along with creation; coming up with the next new thing. It is looking for new forms or ways to express one’s self. Modern

Modernism and Dylan Thomas

1781 words - 7 pages The early to mid 1900s was a time of great and rapid change, known as Modernism. The period demonstrated drastic deviations in “viewing and interacting with the world” (“Modernism”-Literature Periods and Movements). This cultural movement exhibited the breaking away from Victorian morals. Some of the Victorian morals that Modernism rejected were the belief in a single way at viewing the world, the idea that every person has a certain role in

William Butler Yeats: Modernism

1680 words - 7 pages William Butler Yeats: Modernism William Butler Yeats is an Irish poet from the nineteenth century. William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1865. He was educated in both Dublin and London, and he wrote his first verse in 1877 ( He wrote many poems during his lifetime, and is thought to be the most influential poet of his era. He was very influential in the Modernism era. William Butler Yeats was one of the most

modernism conscious shift

1013 words - 5 pages In this essay I will be writing about the iconic change in approach to Modernism, Pieces of art associated with adaptation of traditions value. Although modernism is reckoned to have emerged at the end of the 19th century modernist arts can be located earlier than 1863,the year that Édouard Manet showed his painting in the Salon des Refusés in Paris. The inception that incorporated the concepts and ideologies that developed modernism has clear

Similar Essays

Modernism Essay

842 words - 4 pages The modernism of “A Sculptor's Funeral” In Willa Cahers short story “A Sculptor's Funeral,” we see the judgement day of a world renowned artist through the eyes of his home town. While the story’s text captures its readers, the tale also follow the tendons of modernism throughout the story. The the story starts off with a tenden of modernism; it opens to a scene where men are waiting for an evening train, “The men on the siding stood first on

Modernism Essay

608 words - 2 pages re-occurring in Death Of A Salesman. Individual powerlessness is a very common theme in modernism. Many other modern poets and writers show this same theme in their work. E.E. Cummings is a great example of a modern poet who shows the theme of individual powerlessness and alienation.Miller does a wonderful job in showing the theme of individual powerlessness and alienation that Willy goes through in Death Of A Salesman. Willy has a very hard life

Modernism Essay

3183 words - 13 pages Modernism Modernism is defined in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as "a self-conscious break with the past and a search for new forms of expression." While this explanation does relate what modernism means, the intricacies of the term go much deeper. Modernism began around 1890 and waned around 1922. Virginia Wolf once wrote, "In or about December, 1910, human character changed." (Hurt and Wilkie 1443). D.H. Lawrence wrote a similar statement

Modernism Essay

1980 words - 8 pages MODERNISMModernism, as a term is defined by the perspective of the observer. In the perspective of the historian, Modernism began with the Renaissance, when a flurry of new philosophical theory and societal changes brought about a way of thinking that varied greatly from the previous Greco-Roman standards of being, thinking and living.In the perspective of the art historian however, Modernism is a term which describes a particular movement in