Modernism Vs Realism Essay

2137 words - 9 pages

After World War I, American people and the authors among them were left disillusioned by the effects that war had on their society. America needed a literature that would explain what had happened and what was happening to their society. American writers turned to what is now known as modernism. The influence of 19th Century realism and naturalism and their truthful representation of American life and people were evident in post World War I modernism. This paper will try to prove this by presenting the basic ideas and of these literary genres, literary examples of each, and then make connections between the two literary movements. Realism and Modernism not only depicted American society after World War I accurately and unbiasedly, but also tried to find the solutions brought upon by the suffering created by the war (Elliott 705).The realistic movement of the late 19th century saw authors accurately depict life and it's problems. Realists attempted to "give a comprehensive picture of modern life" (Elliott 502) by presenting the entire picture. They did not try to give one view of life but instead attempted to show the different classes, manners, and stratification of life in America. Realists created this picture of America by combining a wide variety of "details derived from observation and documentation..." to "approach the norm of experience..." (3). Along with this technique, realists compared the "objective or absolute existence" in America to that of the "universal truths, or observed facts of life" (Harvey 12). In other words, realists objectively looked at American society and pointed out the aspects that it had in common with the general truths of existence.This realistic movement evolved as a result of many changes and transitions in American culture. In the late 1800's, the United States was experiencing "swift growth and change" as a result of a changing economy, society, and culture because of an influx in the number of immigrants into America. Realists such as Henry James and William Dean Howells, two of the most prolific writers of the Nineteenth-century, used typical realistic methods to create an accurate depiction of changing American life. William Dean Howells, while opposing idealization, made his "comic criticisms of society" (Bradley 114) by comparing American culture with those of other countries. In his "comic" writings, Howells criticized American morality and ethics but still managed to accurately portray life as it happened. He attacked and attempted to resolve "the moral difficulties of society by this rapid change." (Elliott 505). He believed that novels should "should present life as it is, not as it might be" (American Literature Compton's). In the process of doing this, Howells demonstrated how life shaped the characters of his novels and their own motives and inspirations. By concentrating on these characters' strengths as opposed to a strong plot, he thematically wrote of how life was better than evil and, in...

Find Another Essay On MODERNISM VS REALISM

Jazz and Three Novels Essay

2089 words - 9 pages invigorated by the sense of possibility that the turn of the century offered; a new beginning, a modern era. Modernism, then, was a movement inspired by this sense of possibility, that the prevailing sociocultural landscape could be tended, tilled and fashioned to their liking to satisfy the demands of the new era. In carrying the torch of modernism over the span of a century, artists of myriad disciplines greatly impacted the sociocultural landscapes of

Writing and Technology: The Effects of Experimental Instruction in First-Year College Courses

2879 words - 12 pages I claim my theoretical framework for this study under two broad assumptions. First: Critical realism, and especially its ontology, offers much to the analysis of education research. Second: Much current education research commits to one of two mistaken ontological positions: the empirical realist ontology in which positivist analysis lives and breathes (Davidsen, 2005; O'Boyle & McDonough, 2011); and the social constructionist ontology in

A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by Ernest Hemingway

1540 words - 6 pages that these contrasts and themes conveyed explicate a deeper meaning to the short story and deliver a different outlook on life, which is one that each character seemed to have as “Hemingway’s style of writing brings a hard-bitten realism to American fiction” quotes an outside source. The modernism in “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” is the old man continually searching for fulfillment but only receiving temporary gratification, which is so prevalent

eliot

10027 words - 40 pages most innovative and influential poems in the English language. But it is not only their poetic experimentation that makes these poets significant. The thinking of Eliot, Hulme and Pound is largely responsible for shaping the modernism we have inherited. They were the primary theorists of the major issues we traditionally associate with modernism: disinterestedness vs political engagement, elitism vs democracy, tradition vs novelty

Postmodernism and The Simpsons

8511 words - 34 pages debates relate to the definition of the term itself, often centering around the question of its connection with modernism. The main question may be said to be: is it a continuation of modernism or a reaction against it? According to Hal Foster (1983: ix), postmodernism aims to deconstruct or rewrite modernism in order to open its closed systems. Although both movements draw out techniques that essentially challenge tradition, the sentiment and

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages 348.8 K Relative Error 3.4 7.7 0.6 0.1 1.2 Table 1 Summary of results. A = Naphtalene, B = Durene Figure 1 Phase diagram of (Naphtalene/Durene) system via thermal analysis Figure 2 Phase diagram of (Naphtalene/Durene) system via visual analysis Figure 3Experimental data vs fitted data for runs (1 to 6) Figure 4 Experimental data vs fitted data for

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Similar Essays

From Realism To Modernism Essay

2109 words - 8 pages From Realism to ModernismLe déjeuner sur l'herbe Edouard Manet, 1863.Le déjeuner sur l'herbe ("The Luncheon on the Grass"), originally titled Le Bain ("The Bath"), is an oil on canvas painting by Edouard Manet. It was painted between the years 1862 and 1863 and measures 208 by 264.5 cm. The juxtaposition of a female nude with fully dressed men sparked controversy when the work was first exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in

Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, And Postmodernism

609 words - 2 pages Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, and Postmodernism Literature: the enlightenment, romanticism, realism, modernism, and postmodernism…. Where does one begin? To some, those words can be as scary as the word computer is to others. This essay is designed to help you become a great literary interpreter. Getting the motivation is three fourths of the battle to getting into the heads of the artists. To begin, an outline of some of

Moral Struggle. It Traces American Theme Of Moral Struggle Through Modernism, Citing Jd Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye, And Through Realism With Wd Howells's Editha

1727 words - 7 pages views of modernism authors. As a participant of the modernism period of literature, Salinger wrote his works according to this style. The term modernism refers to the shift in aesthetic and cultural sensibilities in the literature of the post-World War One period. Modernism marks a distinctive break from nineteenth-century optimism, and presents a profoundly pessimistic picture of culture. Salinger displays this view in his book. Holden, the

Georg Lukacs, &Quot;The Ideology Of Modernism&Quot;

9742 words - 39 pages two trends (modernism vs. realism), and to avoid the "mistake" made by bourgeois Western critics in looking too closely at "formal criteria" (1127). (Remember that the Russian Formalists, Viktor Shklovsky at their head, had called for close attention to "formal criteria," and by the early twenties in the Soviet Union had been declared politically incorrect -- it became politically dangerous to be too formalistic.) From Lukacs's Marxist point of