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Transcript of Modernism
What is Modernism?
A cultural movement that aimed to transform the traditional forms of art, literature, and music.
John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. was an American writer. He is widely known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden and the novella Of Mice and Men.
Wright was born in Mississippi into a humble family. He is best known for his
1st major novel: "Native Son." Other works include: "The Outsiders" and "Black Boy."
East of Eden
The novel East of Eden is a modern retelling of the Book of Genesis from the Bible. The book chronicles the lives of two generations of the Hamilton and Trask families. The Hamilton’s are ambitious, loving individuals united at the core by Samuel Hamilton, father and husband. They live a harmonious life full of love and understanding. The Trask family, who take a more central role in the novel, are plagued by rejection, jealousy, evil and love. A central theme in the novel is the choice individuals have to conquer evil. The struggles of the characters with good and evil are explored in this family saga.
Significance of Authors
Steinbeck used common folk set in the Depression era, to reflect his social consciousness, telling of rural workers struggles. Of Mice and Men (1937), his piece about the dreams of a pair of migrant laborers, 'Lenny' and 'George,' working the California soil, has now reached 'classic' status.
Wright believed that "books are weapons." His material faced indifference, forced readers to acknowledge the racist underside of the American dream.Which can refer back to Native Son, and the black perspective of injustice.Wright's themes usually portray poverty,unequal education and the violence due to poverty.
Put the poem pieces
l(a leaf falls) oneliness
A leaf falls in loneliness
In a Station of the Metro
Meant to look like a "1"
"a" is a singular article
"a dog," "a man" etc..
"la" is the singular feminine word
for "the" in French
Both "I" & "a" are the loneliest letters in
the alphabet; they can stand alone
"le" is the singular masculine word
for "the" in French
"one" is the only English word
entirely written out
"ness" means -state of being
State of being I
What caused Modernism ?
The letter's flip flop (af to fa)
the way a leaf would twist
and turn in the wind
Signify a faster drop
mimics the sound of wind
or a breeze "sssssssss"
The leaf flattens out again
One last quick drop
Falls to a pile of leaves
or to the ground
The poem is meant to look like a leaf falling
from a tree. The leaf twists and flips, accelerates
and decelerates, on its journey to the ground
John F. Fitzgerald
Doty, Mark. “On ‘In a Station of the Metro’.” Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, n.d.. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
“In a Station of the Metro.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
“On ‘In a Station of the Metro’.” Modern American Poetry. University of Illinois, n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
Pericles, Hamlet. “Poetry analysis: In a Station of the Metro, by Ezra Pound.” Helium. Helium, Inc., 18 Jan. 2008. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
Shearer-Hackett, E. “Erza Pound’s: In a Station of the Metro.” Bookstove. n.p., 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 25 Feb. 2013. <http://bookstove.com/poetry/ezra-pound’s-in-a-station-of-the-metro/>
Shmoop Editorial Team. “In a Station of the Metro.” Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
White, Theresa Ann. “Poetry analysis: In a Station of the Metro, by Ezra Pound.” Helium. Helium, Inc., 9 Feb. 2009. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
S., Jeffrey. "John Steinbeck and the Modernism Literary Movement." The Legacy of American Literature. Blogspot.com, 03 Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Feb. 2013.
"Modernism(music)." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 June 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism_(music).
Duffus, Matthew. 'Richard Wright.' The Mississippi Writers Page. Oct. 19, 2007. Web. Feb. 20, 2013. <olemiss.edu
Rayson, Ann. 'Richard Wright's Life.' Modern American Poetry. Sun. March 18, 2000. Web. Feb. 20, 2013. <Englsih.illinois.edu
Gaster, Snally. 'Biography.' Richard Wright. web. Feb. 20, 2013. <math.buffalo.edu
In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Pound broke from the traditional form and language of poetry. His poem does not even include verbs.
Why a leaf?
Why did we let the book appear so empty?
In the original printing of 95 Poems (1958)
it was printed opposite a blank page. It looked
like a vast white space with a tiny "poem"
in the middle.
Meant to signify the smallness of mankind
in the greater scale of the universe.
Escalating international tension would eventually
result in the first world war.
The horrific violence and loss of the Great War
caused people to view society differently. The
war had highlighted the destructive power
of human evil.
This time resulted in the "lost generation"
The "Roaring 20's" were a time
of rebellion in society. Women challenged
the status quo. Prohibition was ignored.
New technology facilitated transportation.
Credit and a booming economy enabled
regular people to buy goods they could
not have afforded before. This decade was
the first of its kind; the first "modern decade."
The Great Depression
The Roaring 20's
World War I
-Albert Einstein published his Special theory of relativity in 1905. His theories revolutionized ideas about nature and the physical universe.
-Sigmund Freud published his work, The Interpretation of Dreams, in 1899. He claimed humans were motivated by an irrational, uncontrollable subconscious mind.
* New discoveries and innovations in the sciences caused people to see the world and humanity differently. They caused a withdrawal from the assumptions of the previous generations
Looks like a "1"
Leaves can be a symbol of loneliness
Leaves are forever alone
The alternation between vowel &
constant micks the twists & turns
of a falling leaf too
How is this Modernism?
Although they are always surrounded by other leaves,
their connection to the tree is always solitary.
When they fall from a tree they always fall
A leaf is the perfect example of something that
is constantly surrounded by others like it
but is always alone in its connection to its base.
E.E Cummings obviously broke form from the traditional structure of poetry.
A poem so fragmented and out of order had
never before been written.
Like a true modernist Cummings experimented with form
Immediately following the decade of prosperity the U.S. economy burst and sank into the worst depression in history.
The poverty level was unprecedented and people were left disillusioned
During harsh economic times, nature too unleashed its fury on the U.S.
The 1930's experienced extreme drought throughout the Midwest resulting in tremendous dust storms that looked like Armageddon.
The weather forced many families to migrate from their homes
they came to be known as "okies."
In his book Native Son, Richard Wright uses "Bigger Thomas", complex narrative language, and the setting of Chicago's 1930 discrimination to express the thoughts that occurred within the minds of oppressed African-Americans. Throughout the story Wright switches between narration between himself, Bigger, and other characters and uses Bigger's personal thoughts and views to helps raise questions about segregation and whether or not society is a contributing factor to the creation of criminals. This strategy relates to modernism because modernist writers constantly raised questions and challenged themselves to view society in a different perspective.
The art of the modernist era was characterized
by experimentation. The traditional forms of art
were ignored and artists discovered fresher forms
Just to remind you of the immensity of the universe...
Rebellion in literature, art & music
Modernists experimented with literary form and expression,
Motto: "Make it new."
Desire to overturn traditional modes of representation and express the new sensibilities of their time.
Influenced by the changing ideas about reality developed by Darwin, Mach, Freud, Einstein, Nietzsche, Bergson and others.
Elements of literature:
Modernists liked to question
reality, believed reality is never true.
They explored consciousness
Although certain elements of John Steinbeck's writing fit characteristics of a variety of literary movements, he will, without doubt, go down in history as a great modernist. Through such a style, Steinbeck's writing revolts against the conservative principles of realism.
Steinbeck left one last message to the world on his poem plaque on which the following was written: "The free exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world" (Magill Long Fiction 3154-3155). In East of Eden, this a recurring theme
Diverse reactions in challenging and reinterpreting older categories of music
New ways of organizing and approaching harmonic, melodic, sonic, and rhythmic aspects of music
Music is not a static phenomenon defined by timeless truths and classical principles, but rather something which is intrinsically historical and developmental
The Great Gatsby (1925)
This Side of Paradise (1920)
Tender Is the Night (1934)
The Beautiful and Damned (1922)
The Sun Also Rises (1926)
A Farewell to Arms (1929)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
Ship of Fools (1962)
Noon Wine (1937)
Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939)
Finnegans Wake (1939)
Stephen Hero (1944)
Rejects the ideology of realism
Rejects the certainty of Enlightenment thinking & a compassionate all-powerful creator
Pushed the boundaries
Abstract realities, morphed images & wide of color
(No single "characteristic" of modernist art because every artist experimented with something different)
Pre- modernist artists like Van Gogh paved the
way for modernists. His twisted interpretations
of reality inspired many modernists.
Picasso revolutionized art. His fragmentation
and abstract reality created different interpretations of reality.
Andy Warhol's famous
pop art featuring cans of soup was revolutionary.
Never before had a
household item been
seen as art.
leaves are part of autumn. Autumn often symbolizes old age & death. So, a theme in the poem is the loneliness of death.