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Alyssa Tandoc

on 19 November 2014

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Transcript of Modernism

Modernism (1914-1950)
Ethan Donnelly, Amber Tacderan, Alyssa Tandoc, Alan Viernes, Terrell Williams
Group Activity
What is Modernism?
Modernism is marked by a self-conscious break from traditional styles of poetry, verse, and prose writing, to express the new modern ideas of their time.
Historical Context
Modernism set in motion due to a series of cultural shocks:
World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945) further promoted a less optimistic worldview as many questioned what the world was coming to, but also incited the belief to go beyond traditional views.
Publication of scientific theories led to a new way of thinking.
Technological advancements made the world a more globalized society.
"Jazz Age" or "Roaring Twenties" brought a sense of exuberance and loss of sense of identity.
Great Depression (1929-1939) disillusioned people about economic stability and eroded utopian thinking.
Genre and Styles
Decay and a growing alienation of the individual due to current happenings.
- Struggled to find some meaning in the world in the wake of chaos
- Cold formalism and traditionalism.
"Stream of consciousness" -
we see rather than
During this time people broke away from the past norms and inner space of human mind
Novels: often used all-seeing narrators, narrative point of view
Poetry: free verse, precise imagery
Significant Authors and Works
F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Great Gatsby (1925)
Robert Frost
- A Road Less Traveled
William Faulkner
- A Rose for Emily pg 878-884
John Steinbeck
- Of Mice and Men

Great Gatsby
Discussion Questions
1. Modernism focuses on the decay and growing alienation of an individual. Why do you think we see such an increasing amount of isolationism and loneliness from writers during this era?

2. The Modernist Era consisted of highly experimental writings. Why do you think writers were more willing to experiment with their writings and unafraid to break free from traditional writing styles?

3. Modernists often used what was known as a stream of consciousness, which was a method of narration that described, in words, the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters. Do books written in today’s time period still make use of this literary device? How is it important?

4. In the eyes of Modernists, society was viewed as fractured, culture as fragmented, and life as unordered. How was 1914-1950 a fractured, culturally fragmanted, and uordered? Could you say the same about today's society?

5. Modernism also runs on the belief that the world is created in the act of perceiving, in other words, the world is what we say it is. Do you agree with this belief? Why or why not?
Values and Beliefs
After seeing horrors of WWI, many wanted to expose the irrationality of the alleged rational world.
Disillusionment established that artists no longer had to follow conventions of "normal" art.
Modernist writers wrote of the inner self and consciousness to find some meaning in the world during the wars.
Many repudiated moral codes of society they were living in as many rejected all religious and moral principles, as well as political institutions.
Experimentation and individualism became virtues.
Fitzgerald - “Life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle.”
Fill in the Blank Outline Answers:
Foretold from the perspective of Nick Carroway, newly moved from the Midwest, he narrates about the extravagant and mysterious life of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby. As Nick befriends Gatsby, it becomes known that all of his extravagant parties were for Daisy Buchanan, Nick's cousin. Over the course of the book, readers can see that Gatsby's life is a perfectly constructed dream created for Daisy, but his love eventually leads to his downfall.
1. self - conscious
2. World War I ; World War II
3. Scientific
4. identity
5. Great Depression
6. irrationality

7. inner self ; conscioussness
8. how ; what
9. narrative ; all - seeing
10. Frost
11. Steinbeck
"When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction—Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn." -Nick Carroway,
The Great Gatsby
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