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The Moderns 1914-1939

The Moderns 1914-1939. Men travel now, but I do not know if they go to better things. -Willa Cather. Important Historical Events During Modernism. The Great War…. World War I 1914-1918

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The Moderns 1914-1939

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  1. The Moderns 1914-1939 Men travel now, but I do not know if they go to better things. -Willa Cather

  2. Important Historical Events During Modernism • The Great War…. World War I 1914-1918 • Began when Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. U.S. entered in 1917. By the time it ended with The Treaty of Versailles, over 50 million lives had been lost. • This war made Americans challenge their values.

  3. Historical Events Continued… • Women’s Suffrage 1920 • Women won the right to vote! • Women also began to wear shorter skirts and bob their hair. • Women wanted to “keep up with the boys.”

  4. Historical Events Continued…. • The Great Depression 1929 • The New York stock market crashed in 1929, and thus began the Great Depression. • One fourth to one third of Americans became unemployed. • People were forced to wait in bread and soup lines. They also hunted for food in garbage bins and some slept in sewers. • Many homeless families lived in tents and shacks in camps called Hoovervilles. This was based off of the notion that President Hoover did not take much action against the Great Depression.

  5. So… how does this relate to Modernism?? • All of these changes pretty much happened within decades. • These changes were reflected in the writing and this literary period is called Modernism. • Modernism focuses on the changing and challenging of commonly held American beliefs.

  6. The American Dream • One major belief that was challenged was the belief in the American dream. • The American dream basically has three parts to it: • America is a new land of opportunities. • We can expect life to continually get better. • The independent, self-reliant person will triumph. Everything is possible for those who work hard and use their strengths and talents. Do you believe in the American Dream?

  7. Waking Up From the American Dream • Americans became disillusioned with the American dream after WWI. • Many Americans especially gave up on the dream after the stock market crash. • Why do think Americans gave up on the dream?

  8. A Shift in Focus... • Americans began to focus on Modernism • Key Elements of Modernism: • Emphasis on bold experimentation in style and form of writing • Rejection of traditional themes and subjects • Loss of faith in the American dream • Loss of sentimentality and artificiality • Rejection of the “perfect hero” and a focus on a hero that has flaws and disillusionment, yet still shows “grace under pressure” • Interest in the inner workings of the mind

  9. So… Who is this new American hero??? • The new American hero was basically produced by Ernest Hemingway. • Not only did Hemingway write in simple language and style, he also wrote about a new type of hero. • This hero was much like many Americans…. • This hero was a man of action, courage, honor and strength. Yet, this man was also very disillusioned with the “dream.” • Hemingway believed we must “snatch up the rare, good, rich moments that life offers before those offers elude us.”

  10. Something to look forward to…. • For our unit on Modernism we will read the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Ftizgerald. • Then, we will focus on Modern Poetry. • Lastly, we will learn about The Harlem Renaissance!

  11. Review…... • What three historical events helped to create the Modernism movement? • What is the American dream? • Why did people give up the American dream? • What are elements of modernism? • What is “The New American Hero?”

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