element of moderanism

Topics: Modernism, Modernist literature, Narrative Pages: 3 (767 words) Published: October 16, 2013
Elements of Modernism in American Literature
by Audrey Farley, Demand Media


Modernism in American literature was greatly inspired by the avant-garde trends in art. Related Articles
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Modernism was a cultural wave that originated in Europe and swept the United States during the early 20th century. Modernism impacted music, art and literature by radically undoing traditional forms, expressing a sense of modern life as a sharp break from the past and its rigid conventions. In literature, the elements of modernism are thematic, formal and stylistic. Sponsored Link

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During the First World War, the world witnessed the chaos and destruction of which modern man was capable. The modernist American literature produced during the time reflects such themes of destruction and chaos. But chaos and destruction are embraced, as they signal a collapse of Western civilization's classical traditions. Literary modernists celebrated the collapse of conventional forms. Modernist novels destroy conventions by reversing traditional norms, such as gender and racial roles, notable in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," for example. They also destroy conventional forms of language by deliberately breaking rules of syntax and structure. William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury," for instance, boldly rejects the rules of language, as Faulkner invents new words and adopts a first-person narrative method, interior monologue. Fragmentation

Related to the theme of destruction is the theme of fragmentation. Fragmentation in modernist literature is thematic, as well as formal. Plot, characters, theme, images, and narrative form itself...
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