Modernism at Its Finest
In the beginning of the twentieth century, literature changed and focused on breaking away from the typical and predicate patterns of normal literature. Poets at this time took full advantage and stretched the idea of the mind’s conscience on how the world, mind, and language interact and contradict. Many authors, such as Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Twain, used the pain and anguish in first hand experiences to create and depict a new type of literature, modernism. In this time era, literature and art became a larger part of society and impacted more American lives than ever before. During the American modernism period of literature, authors, artists, and poets strived to create pieces of literature and art that challenged American traditions and tried to reinvent it, used new ways of communication, such as the telephone and cinema, to demonstrate the new modern social norms, and express the pain and suffering of the First World War.
With new modernist American literature, Americans lose faith in their traditional beliefs and values, including the American dream. Many novels used the concept of the American dream to make people question whether the dream still existed in the mist of the First World War and the Great Depression. In describing the American dream, one is led to believe that the individual is led to self-triumph, and their life will progressively get better and better in America. In Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, the American dream is perceived originally by the thought of discovery and the pursuit of happiness. Money, parties, and relaxed social views came with ease to the American people in the 1920s. However, Fitzgerald demonstrates how the American soldiers return home from the war in a state of delusion and the sense of the American dream is tarnished with the luxury of money and glamour. As Gatsby realizes that the glamour of the parties and idealness of his love for Daisy is unworthy and foolish, the dream is shattered and taken away from him. As the stock market fell and the Great Depression captured America as a whole, the American dream was almost non-existent and people lost their faith in achieving that goal.
As new technologies and advancements, such as the telephone and cinema, were created in America, modernist American literature also accepted and incorporated in the new change. Along with new inventions, social change in women and the black ethnicity caused rebellion and powerful literary movements to occur. The new social consciousness of these groups, referred to as the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, worked its way in literature rapidly and gave power to...