Modernism: The Affluential and the Destructive Essay

Modernism: The Affluential and the Destructive Essay

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In the early 20th century, modernist writers broke free of the consistent pattern on the themes of religion, marriage, and family values, branching out with their actual opinions and observations on society, making more readers aware of the corruption of the traditional morality in America. It became evident that the American people were placing lust, wealth, and material prosperity over their marital vows and traditional values. This idea of amorality is noticeably identified in the literary works, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as in The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Major characters in both novels show signs of demoralization, in regards to Tom Buchanan, for example, whom openly cheated on his wife, broke the nose of his mistress, and sold Gatsby’s fate down the river, and Abigail, whom slept with a married man and killed an entire village in spite of the deteriorated affair. In this new, cutting-edge society the concept of materialism is prevalent. Materialistic power became a goal for many Americans in modern America, which is identifiable in The Great Gatsby. People of East and West Egg indulged themselves with parties, pricey automobiles and the latest fashions, meanwhile, the people in the Valley of Ashes merely scraped by. Jay Gatsby out of his desire to 'own' Daisy went to great lengths to appear as a man of great fortune.
In “The Wasteland” by T.S. Elliot, he expresses the bleak future of America. Elliot describes the world in a way in which all its ambitions and hopes are lost. This loss of the American Dream was a repercussion of materialism and amorality present in humanity.
Modernism can be defined through the literary works of early independent 20th century writers. Modernism is exp...

... middle of paper ...

...In a way, they were very much correct in their predictions, humanity nowadays has no integrity or decent ethics. People have become careless and less thoughtful of the ‘right thing to do’, only concerned with what will please them the most, material goods and not thinking about the consequences of their actions.

Works Cited

Elliot, T.S. “The Wasteland.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed.
Nina Baym. 8th Ed. New York: Norton, 2013. 2009- 2022. Print
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print.
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.
Mitchell, Roger. "Modernism Comes to American Poetry: 1908–1920."
Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Web. 16 Mar. 2014.
Murphy, Russell Elliot. "American Literature and the American Language.”
Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Web. 16 Mar. 2014

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