Modernism in Literature - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Modernism in literature
1 / 8

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Modernism in Literature. One hour Research Task. Key Characteristics of Modernism in Literature (you may make reference to Art and Music too) Yeats as a Modernist Poet The significance of British rule in Ireland at the time Yeats was writing.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Modernism in Literature

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Modernism in literature

Modernism in Literature

One hour research task

One hour Research Task

  • Key Characteristics of Modernism in Literature (you may make reference to Art and Music too)

  • Yeats as a Modernist Poet

  • The significance of British rule in Ireland at the time Yeats was writing.

  • The significance of Yeats’ words “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone”

    You will be assigned one of the above. Use the internet to research your area. After half an hour, you will join the other students who have the same topic. Together, you must agree a bullet point summary – to include no more than TEN bullet points.



  • Modernistic literature is the expression of the modern era (1901-45). It tends to revolve around themes of individuality, the randomness of life, mistrust of government and religion and the disbelief in absolute truth.



  • Influences of modern literature The three thinkers who influence the Modern Era and Modern literature the most are probably Charles Darwin (1809-1882), Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Sigmund Freud.  This is not to say that Modern authors were ardent evolutionists, or Marxists or even practitioners of Freudian psychology;  rather, these thinkers simply fuelled and framed the perspectives and debates that formulated so much Modern art and literature. Today, Freud's specific theories are largely dismissed as unscientific.  Still, these ideas had a profound influence on art and literature as much as on our common, daily perceptions/conceptions of existence and reality:

William butler yeats


(13 June 1885- 28 January 1939)

William Butler Yeats was one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation."


mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology

In 1916, Yeats quite suddenly decided that he didn't want to write pretty poems anymore - he wanted to write realistic poems: poems as urgent and as uncluttered as a newspaper article.He even wrote a poem about his decision: "A Coat".So some characteristics of Modernism in Yeats include:Demotic language (not poetic language)Political subject matter Ugliness and violence, where these are appropriate to the subject matter (no attempt to make everything aesthetically pleasing in a poeticised vision of loveliness).

Contrast in yeats poetry



HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,Enwrought with golden and silver light,The blue and the dim and the dark clothsOf night and light and the half-light,I would spread the cloths under your feet:But I, being poor, have only my dreams;I have spread my dreams under your feet;Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.



TURNING and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity


Modernism in literature

A Coat

I MADE my song a coatCovered with embroideriesOut of old mythologiesFrom heel to throat;But the fools caught it,Wore it in the world's eyesAs though they'd wrought it.Song, let them take it,For there's more enterpriseIn walking naked.

William Butler Yeats

In a letter to his father yeats wrote the following about the change in his poetry

In a letter to his father, Yeats wrote the following about the change in his poetry….

“….I have tried to make my work convincing with a speech so natural that the hearer would feel the presence of a man thinking and feeling…..”

Ezra Pound described modernist poetry as:

“gaunter, seeking greater hardness of outline”; “with a new quality of hard light”

  • Login