Modernism and Ball Turret Gunner

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Kyle Hammond
Mrs. Hammock
English 11
April 25, 2013

Essay
“ The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” , “Nothing Gold can Stay”, and “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” are modernist works. “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner and Night are contemporary works. Modernism is modern thought, character, or practice. It is the modernist movement in the arts, the sets cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements. Contemporary works are set and written in the time it was written. It makes use of literary styles or techniques. It works in a non traditional form, comments on itself, and can be personal.

“The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter” is a modernist poem because she is losing her faith to do anything as she grows older when her husband leaves. There is no hero in this poem and it reflects society at that time the way they did things like her playing on bamboo stilts as a child, married at 14, and was a servant and called upon all the time by her husband. She has no sentimentality and doesn’t seem worried when she asks her husband to come back.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” is a modernist work because it has rejection of sentimentality and artificiality by saying nothing gold or good can stay. In this poem it says at the start everything is gold or perfect then it goes away in the end which has loss of faith. It is rejecting Eden as a hero and who is flawed.

“The Life You Save May Be Your Own” is modernism because a guy shows up, asks for work, takes the truck, and leaves the blind girl he married at a restaurant. This shows how a human mind can work in an evil way. He took the old ladies blind daughter that has never left home before and she loves her daughter and never wanted her to leave home but the strange man took her and left her all by herself. There is no hero in this story. The old lady didn’t do much to be a hero and neither did the blind girl. The strange man was the opposite of a hero, was greedy, and selfish by taking the car and leaving...
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