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Understanding Modernist Writing Essay

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Around 1906, modernist writing was used, but did not yet have a name. James Joyce was the first person to write in a modernist way. It was not until later that the name modernism was established. It was mainly involved with language and how it is used. Modernism is known as a result of the struggle families went through during a certain period of time. Many other authors use modernism in a similar way. To fully understand modernist poetry, a definition and a break down is needed.
Modernism is better known as a reflection of historical events. During the time period of 1890-1910, many issues came about in society. Over these twenty years, Americans had massive amounts of change. For example, World War I was beginning and the Industrial Revolution was escalating. It was also the period when cars appeared and there were also massive cultural shifts. For example, John Steinbeck writes about Americans fleeing to California in search of jobs in the novel The Grapes of Wrath.
Under a combination of historical pressure such as these, writers came to respect literature as an explanation for an individual life. Modern assembly lines emerged, producing material in mass amounts. Although less educated individuals were able to get jobs, they were treated very poorly. This period reduced the population’s self-confidence severely. Essentially citizens moved down in the ranks between 1890-1910.
Modernist writing is known for being hard to comprehend. John Steinbeck is content with people not understanding his books. For example, The Grapes of Wrath is confusing because he claims it is “A book about the public, not for the public”. (Steinbeck 128) He writes about events that happened to the citizens in depth. Steinbeck is reacting to t...


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...s, they have their own writing style which sets them apart.
The large cultural wave of modernism emerged in Europe. The same wave traveled to the United States in the early years of the 19th century. Modernism generally expressed a sense of modern life through poetry. Modern life appeared very different from traditional life. It was faster with more science and technology. Modernism settled these changes.
Modernism helps readers understand and looker deeper into a writer’s work. The reader is able to analyze and breakdown the authors story. The author also has a point of view which also can be broken down. For example, T.S. Eliot in the “Wasteland”, leaves parts of the story to the reader’s imagination. This gives an opportunity to the reader to create an opinion of there own. This writing style is more involving and it is different from the ordinary technique.


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