Social Life

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Social Life

The aftermath of the Civil War made a mark on writers during the era. The occurrences and reconstruction of America had changed some writing to shift from realism to depicting social life in literature. The view of many writers focused on the effects of the war like death, sadness, and people confronted with poverty. This is followed up with the Great Depression and World War I. People saw war first hand in bombings, killing, murders, and voracity. A group of writers chose this as their theme.

Edgar Lee Masters reflected the small town life with the poem, "Abel Melveny." The narrator (Abel) is telling a story about his machine collection. He is actually dead but looking back on how his life occurred. Masters wrote of this death, which Abel considered himself like a machine right before he dies. Abel was like a new machine (meaning when Abel was young) and now as a machine gets old, Abel got old and died. No one has any use for old rusted like machines, which Abel compared himself to, who did nothing except deteriorate into ruins.

Ezra Pound poem, "A Pact" is written to Walt Whitman to help start an imagism movement. Ezra is asking Whitman about their pact, "I make a pact with you" (p.1285, line 1) which will begin to change the writing in literature in those days. His word choice and imagism helped his movement. Ezra uses a strong tone towards Whitman to indicate he means business. He needed Walt to help in the creation of new, different way of writing. Ezra also uses the metaphor, "We have one sap and one root" (p. 1285, line 8) to symbolize their uniting together to make the new movement possible.

T.S. Eliot helped in Pounds movement toward imagism. Eliot wrote a poem, "The Hollow Men" because of the death and destruction caused during the War and Great Depression. The poem was written about the poor decisions of a group of people who tried to blow up a place in Europe. Eliot talks about a scarecrow and how its head is...
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