1. etc) However, during Modernism, people started Free Essay
1. Modernism in the 20th century English literature
Modernism is a literary and cultural movement which flourished in the first decades of the 20th century. Society was influenced by a number of important changes, from scientific discoveries to better knowing the Universe. The two major attitudes that influenced the Modern Age were:
-trusting the human knowledge (reason)
-individuality and free will (rationality) –the ability to change one’s life, to choose the right strategy to get the best profit, a more dynamic life.
Self-reliability – not depending on someone, making your own way depending on your own choices and abilities.(real choices, political, personal, economic etc)
However, during Modernism, people started to be against the idea of reason. The modernist revolts against the Enlightenment which was obsessed with reason. The 20th century literature explores the irrationality. This movement was influenced by great thinkers like Charles Darwin, James Frazer (3 major stages in the evolution of mankind: magic, religion, science) and Sigmund Freud.
The writers in the Modern period will reflect several ideas through his work:
-loss of sense of tradition
-increasing dominance of technology
-works will show the viewpoint of the individual
-the narrators will be located within the action (Heart of Darkness, 1984)
-world as a Waste Land (T.S Elliot)
-loss of faith in God (Godot), in the institution of the world (1984)
There is a number of important authors: Yeats, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D.H Lawrence, George Orwell.