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Disillusion, Defiance, and Discontent. 1914-1946. Historical Background. War in Europe One of the bloodiest and most tragic conflicts to ever occur Initially, reality did not set in but that soon passed E. E. Cummings, Ernest Hemmingway experienced war firsthand . Historical Background.

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historical background
Historical Background
  • War in Europe
    • One of the bloodiest and most tragic conflicts to ever occur
    • Initially, reality did not set in but that soon passed
    • E. E. Cummings, Ernest Hemmingway experienced war firsthand
historical background1
Historical Background
  • Prosperity and Depression
    • 1920-1933 – Prohibition
      • Lead to bootlegging, speakeasies, law breaking, and warfare amongst gangs
    • 1920-1921 – economy boomed, new buildings rose everywhere
    • October 1929 – stock market crashed, marking the beginning of the Great Depression
      • By mid-1923, about 12 million people were out of work
historical background2
Historical Background
  • World War II
    • German invasion of Poland began WWII
    • American wanted to remain neutral
    • After the attacks at Pearl Harbor, we could stay neutral no longer
literature of the period
Literature of the Period
  • Birth of Modernism
    • WWI took away any optimism the US had prior to the wars
    • Many people felt disillusioned and uncertain
    • People began to seek new ideas that better suited 20th Century life
  • Stream of consciousness technique:
    • Attempts to re-create the natural flow of a character’s thoughts
modernists
Modernists
  • Experimented with a wide variety of new approaches and techniques, producing a diverse body of literature
  • Sought to capture the essence of modern life in form and content
  • Wanted to reflect the fragmentation of the modern world
  • Constructed their works out of:
    • Fragments
    • Omitted; exposition, transitions, resolutions, and explanations
  • Themes were implied, rather than directly stated, asking readers to draw their own conclusions
imagism
Imagism
  • Poetic movement
  • Lasted form 1909-1917
  • Rebelled against the sentimentality of 19th Century poetry
  • Demand:
    • Hard, clear expression
    • Concrete images
    • Language of everyday speech
the harlem renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance
  • Northern Manhattan, Harlem
  • African American writers were creating their own renaissance
  • Langston Hughes
  • Began in 1921 and continued into the 1930s
  • Opened the doors for African American writers