Modernism Is Defined by the Representation of Changing Paradigms

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And yet what is modernism? It is undefined. From your reading of and two texts of your own choosing, explore how Modernism is defined by its representation of changing paradigms. Modernism was an age of massive ideological, social and technological change upon the rigid traditional ideas and beliefs that were already set and reinforced by society. In this time many modernist authors and artists sourced to change and challenge society’s expectations and their inflexible, harsh conventions that not only restricted free thinking but repressed the ideas of change in their beliefs. The idea of gender roles and the role of women in a patriarchal society are challenged and questioned in Hedda Gabler as Ibsen confronts the audience with the isolation and plight of women that was created out of extreme patriarchy during the Victorian period. The destructive consequences of society’s barriers and women turning away and escaping from established gender roles is also presented in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening with the two spheres of men and women being challenged with their desires. The rapidly changing world, socially and technologically, brought many people to a dilemma on choosing to stay in their traditional superficial world, or to welcome the new. The superficiality of life is constantly contrasted with the differing social structures within society in Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway with her continuing fear of aging and the new that constantly rocks her world. The challenges on the role of women and the place they possess in the society are constantly questioned as writers sought to shock their audience and show the world on how they saw it. Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler not only presented a woman that challenged and pushed the boundaries of society, but a woman who did not want to be the stereotypical wife “Angel of the house”.

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