The twentieth century
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The Twentieth Century. Modernism. Social Background. The sun never set Social problems: unemployment, sharp contrast between the working class and the middle class and widespread strikes The Great Depression (1929). Modernism. Century of “ isms: Expressionism Dadaism Surrealism

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The Twentieth Century

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The twentieth century

The Twentieth Century


Social background

Social Background

  • The sun never set

  • Social problems: unemployment, sharp contrast between the working class and the middle class and widespread strikes

  • The Great Depression (1929)



  • Century of “isms:

    • Expressionism

    • Dadaism

    • Surrealism

    • Futurism

    • Imagism

    • Stream of consciousness

      These “isms” explore different ways of expressing the REALITY of the world.

The twentieth century




The twentieth century

  • cubism

  • symbolism

  • fauvism

    ….the list goes on and on



The twentieth century

Modernism: a movement in art, literature, music and architecture characterized by experimentation with form.Modernism spans 1900--1940.

The modernist writers

the Modernist writers

  • discontinuity or fragmentation in the narrative

  • stream of consciousness as a narrative style

  • a highly subjective view of reality

  • a complex web of symbols

  • reliance on myth

  • a mythic, rather than temporal, view of history



  • Sigmund Freud



  • a highly influential method of treating mental disorders, shaped by psychoanalytic theory, which emphasizes unconscious mental processes



  • Joseph Conrad

    --Heart of Darkness

    --Lord Jim

  • E. M. Foster

    -- A Room with a View

    --Howard’s End

    -- A Passage to India

  • James Joyce


    -- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    -- Ulysses

    -- Finnegans Wake

The twentieth century

  • Virginia Woolf

    --Mrs. Dalloway

    -- To the Lighthouse

    -- The Waves

  • D.H. Lawrence

    -- Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    -- Sons and Lovers

    -- The Rainbow

    -- Women in Love

Modernist literature

Modernist Literature

“Things fall apart,The centre cannot hold,Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”

--Yeats, “TheSecond Coming”

Stream of consciousness

stream of consciousness

  • The (re)presentation of inner (psychological) reality, including the 'flow' of experience, through devices such as stream of consciousness.

  • The use of such structural approaches to experience as psychoanalysis, myth, the symbolic apprehension and comprehension of reality.

Stream of consciousness1

Stream of Consciousness


“……to describe the unbroken flow of thought and awareness in the waking mind; it has since been adopted to describe a narrative method in modern fiction. Long passages of introspection, describing in some detail what passes through a character’s mind,…”

“… the continuous flow of a character’s mental process, in which sense perceptions mingle with conscious and half-conscious thoughts, memories, expectations, feelings, and random associations. “

T s eliot

T.S. Eliot

  • 1888-1965

  • Born in St. Louis, attended Harvard, studied Oxford and Sorbonne

  • Went to England 1914, returned 1932

  • Became a British citizen

Ideas of literature

Ideas of literature

  • Developed idea of literary canon

    • Emphasis on tradition in creative writing and criticism

  • Used mythology to provide structure for modern issues addressed in his works

  • Discovered and revived interest in John Donne et al.

    • Named them “metaphysical” poets



  • Monologue

  • Poetic speaker

    • Shy with women

    • Building up his courage

  • Imagery

    • Zoomorphism

  • Repetition

  • Allusion



  • William Butler Yeats

  • Wystan Hugh Auden



  • Samuel Barclay Beckett

  • Theatre of the Absurd

  • Waiting for Godot

  • Login