The Moderns (1914-1939) By: Kimberly Veliz, Danny Rodriguez, and Rafael Rodriguez-Ema
Social & Political Highlights During Modernism World War I Women’s Suffrage The Great Depression
WWI WWI started when the Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria- Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. U.S extended conflict in 1917. By 1916 more than half a million soldier were killed. Nearly 50 millions lives were lost by the time the truce was signed in Nov. 1918. The treaty of Versailles officially ended the war.
Women’s Suffrage With the ratification of the 19th amendment, women in the U.S. finally won the right to vote. Women started wearing shorter skirts and bobbing their hair in a modern fashion.
The Great Depression, 1929 Caused by the stock market crash; brought suffering to millions of Americans. One fourth to one third of Americans workers were unemployed.
Quiz Time! When did WWI start? 1914 What amendment gave women the right to vote? 19th Amendment What event led to the great depression? Stock market crash What treaty ended WWI? Treaty of Versailles
Modernism American writers started being affected by the modernist movement. This movement in literature, painting, music, and other arts swept along by disillusionment with traditions that seemed to have become spiritually empty. Modernism called for bold experimentation and wholesale rejections of traditional themes and styles.
Elements of Modernism Rejection of traditional themes, subjects and forms. Sense of disillusionment and loss of faith in the American Dream. Rejection of sentimentality and artificiality. Rejection of the ideal of a hero as infallible in favor of a hero who is flawed and disillusioned but shows “grace under pressure”. Interest in the inner workings of the human mind, sometimes expressed through new narrative techniques, such as stream of consciousness.
Principles of the American Dream • America as the new Eden • The United States is a new Eden, a promised land of beauty, unlimited resources, and endless opportunities. • Both the promise and the disappointment of this idea is reflected in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. • A belief in progress • The American birthright is one of ever-expanding opportunity. Progress is a good thing, and we can optimistically except life to keep getting better and better. • Triumph of the individual • The independent, self-reliant individual will triumph. Everything is possible for the person who places trust in his or her own powers and potential.
Hope you paid attention because it’s quiz time! When the U.S. was thought to be the new Eden, what author reflected the contrast of this idea in his novel? F. Scott Fitzgerald with The Great Gatsby What 3 ideas compose the American dream? America as the new Eden, a belief in progress, and a triumph of the individual True or false: The moderns accepted sentimentality and artificiality. False
Marxism WWI and the Great Depression severely damaged the ideas of the American dream. The socialist beliefs of Karl Marx (1818-1883) that had powered the Russian Revolution in 1917 conflicted with the American system of capitalism and free enterprise. Marxists threatened to export their revolution everywhere. Marxism was basically the political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis for the theory and practice of communism.
Freud and the Unconscious Mind In Vienna there was another ground-shaking movement. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, had opened the workings of the unconscious mind to examination and called for a new understanding of human sexuality and the role it plays in our unconscious thoughts. One literary result of this interest in the psyche was the narrative technique called Stream of consciousness. This writing style abandoned chronology and attempted to imitate the moment-by-moment flow of a character’s thoughts and memories. Ex:Ulysses byJames Joyce.
Jazz Age In 1919 the constitution was amended to prohibit the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. This led to an age full of jazz clubs and underground social scenes becoming popular. Women played a prominent role; they won the right to vote and began to create a presence in artistic, intellectual, and social circles.
The New American Hero The most influential writer of post WWI was Ernest Hemingway. Most famous for his literary style, which affected the style of American prose fiction for many generations. Hemingway reduced the flamboyance of literary language to make it bare and truthful. Hemmingway introduced a new kind of hero to literature. His hero is a man of action, a warrior, and a tough competitor; he has a code of honor, courage, and endurance. But most importantly the hero had thorough disillusionment.
What time is it? Quiz time! • Marxism paved the way to what political theory? • Communism • What writing style abandoned chronology and attempted to imitate the moment-by-moment flow of a character’s thoughts and memories? • Stream of consciousness • What big impact occurred in 1919 to the amendment? • Prohibition of alcohol • Who was the most influential writer of post-WW1? • Ernest Hemmingway
A Period of Experimentation After getting all British influences out of American poetry, American poets entered a period of experimentation. They explored Europe, and learned from modern painters like Pablo Picasso. Ezra pound and T.S. Eliot used suggestive techniques of symbolism to create a new, modernist poetry. Pound also led a poetic movement called imagism. Imagism and symbolism would be seen in poetry up to the 20th century and can be seen greatly used in E.E. Cummings poetry.
Voices of American Character Many American poets rejected modernist trends. These poets stayed at home, ignoring the revolution of modernism. These poets had plain American speech, and they revealed the diversity of American life and character. The greatest of these poets was Robert Frost. Frost took the conventional writing of poetry and gave it a twist of his own .
Harlem Renaissance In the 1920’s a group of black poets focused directly on the unique contributions of the African American culture to America. Based it’s rhythms on spirituals and jazz, its lyrics on songs known as the blues, and its diction on the street talk of the ghettos. Lyric poets: James W. Johnson, Claude Mckay, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen. These poets brought literary distinction to a movement of artists called the Harlem Renaissance. The geographical center of this was Harlem, New York.
Guess what? Quiz! • What two authors used the technique of symbolism? • Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot • What successful poet ignored the revolution of modernism and preferred conventional forms of writing? • Robert Frost • What kind of music came from the Harlem Renaissance? • The blues
Symbolsim Symbolism is a form of expression in which the world of appearance is violently rearranged by artists who seek a different and more doubtful version of reality. Symbolist poets tried to portray the emotional effects that objects can suggest, not just describe them. Symbolist had nothing to do with religious, national or the psychological symbols we are familiar with. The symbolists stressed instead in the trust of the nonrational, hoping to bring self-discovery to the reader. Symbolism is a new manifestation of the Romanticism that had swept over Europe and the U.S. in the 19th century.
Imagism Imagism, which flourished in the years 1912-1927, consisted of people who believed, like the symbolists, that poetry can be made purer by concentration on the precise, clear, and unqualified image. Imagists believed that imagery alone could carry a poem’s emotion and message. Without all the elaborated metrics and stanza patterns a traditional poem has. Imagists reformed poetry, they would get rid of the beauty and sentimentally of the poem and concentrate instead on the raw power of the image to communicate feeling and thought.
Imagists believed in the free verse form of writing poetry instead of conventional forms. Free verse is poetry without regular rhyming and metrical patterns, which was deplorable to tradition minded poets. Though imagism didn’t last long it did give rise to some of Americas best poets, including: E.E. Cummings, Marianne Moore, and Williams Carlos Williams
Important Movements • Impressionism was movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color. Ex. Claude Monet • Surrealism was a 20th-century new and unusual movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images. Ex. Salvador Dali.
Oh no! It’s the last quiz • True or False: Symbolist poets did not try to portray the emotional effects that objects can suggest, and instead, just describe them. • False • ______ believed that ______ alone could carry a poem’s emotion and message. • Imagists; imagery • _____is poetry without regular rhyming and metrical patterns, which was deplorable to tradition minded poets.’ • Free Verse • Movement that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind? • Surrealism • Movement in painting characterized by the shifting effect of light and color? • Impressionism