Modernism. The Movement in American Literature. What is it?. Imagine a world full of contradictions – a world of disillusion and hope, of crumbling traditions and explosive creative energy, of self-doubt and self-discovery.
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The Movement in
The United States enters WWI in 1917, and shared the sense that civilization as they had known it, was being destroyed.
No one knew what would result from the political breakdown of this war.
Political corruption was rampant
Gangsters flourished with the profits from the sale of alcohol
Americans grew distrustful of foreigners and intolerant of political dissent.
This literary movement was a direct response to social and cultural changes.
Creating new ways of writing to respond to the post-World War I realities.
Loss of stability was so strong from 1914-1945 and is reflected in the structure of literature – thus, the LOST GENERATION
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Katherine Anne Porter
William Carlos Williams
The Lost Generation
Dadaism – Marcel Duchamp
The world doesn’t make sense and neither should art.
Cubist Technique – Henri Matisse
Cubism – Pablo Picasso
The one-story bunk houses, the eating-house, the company store, the mill offices, and the big mill itself stood deserted in the acres of sawdust that covered the swampy meadow by the shore of the bay. Ten years later there was nothing of the mill left except the broken white limestone of its foundations showing through the swampy second growth as Nick and Marjorie rowed along the shore.
- Ernest Hemingway
“The End of Something”
I owed to this woman most of the good that ever came my way in my boyhood, and had a reverential affection for her. During the years when I was riding herd for my uncle, my aunt, after cooking three meals…and putting the six children to bed, would often stand until midnight at her ironing board with me at the kitchen table beside her, hearing me recite Latin declensions and conjugations, gently shaking me when my drowsy head sank down over a page of irregular verbs.
- Willa Cather
“A Wagner Matinee”
What must be inferred