Modernism Essay

904 WordsJan 18, 20124 Pages
Modernism Modernism was an artistic and literary movement in the 1920s through much of the 40s that involved renowned author such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, T. S Elliot, Ernest Hemingway, and Hart Crane among many others. Modernism implies a historical discontinuity, a sense of alienation and despair. It is the rejection of traditional values, and equally rejects the rhetoric by which they were sanctioned and communicated. These texts display the discontent and vulnerability attained with wealth and its accommodations. Modernists often write of people within a high social class or wealth to illustrate that materialism is futile because it does not grant happiness. This generation of authors and artist also used literary to convey a message of satisfaction with the world; this directly reflects the modernist idea of bohemianism. Modernism is defined by the text that supports its ideas such as The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Catcher in the Rye by J. D Salinger, The Sun also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and “The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Elliot. These texts show how modernists react with his/her environment and the emotional struggle that accompanies wealth and success. The sun also Rises and the Great Gatsby illustrate the superficiality present in a high social class overwhelmed with emotional struggle. These two texts involve characters that presume to be happy but in reality find themselves in a constant battle with a dull existence. Characters such as Gatsby and Robert Cohn who are wealthy men but lead miserable lives exemplary just what the modernist authors believe in. they believe that materialism does not make one happy. In the story Daisy, the one women Gatsby longs for but cannot have, says “what’ll we do with ourselves this afternoon?.. and the day after that and the next thirty years?”(Fitzgerald 118) This quote shows the absent

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