Modernism and The First World War

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Modernism and the First World War

The period of the World War One, which took place between 1914 and 1918 may seem short in the history of human being or art, but its influence on technology, politics, people, their lifestyles and art was so huge that the war was called The Great War of all the history. It also affected the literature of the time. World War One changed people and their point of views; writers changed their subjects and their literary techniques, readers changed their expectations and changed their taste.
The War resulted in mass slaughter. 40 million casualties were recorded and about 20 million died. Thousands of people who survived the warfront suffered from shell-shock and the death of so many innocents doomed to haunt them forever. The disillusionment from the war led to a radical change in writing. Renowned American writers like T.S Eliot and Ezra Pound maintained their innovative literary techniques but changed the subject matter. The writings which were previously influenced by Aestheticism now shifted focus to more severe matters of preserving civilization. The keywords of literary reviews were fears about cultural degeneration and 'civilization'. Even the emerging English novelists like D.H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf changed their style and form according to the War.
Notable writers like T.S Eliot also changed their way of writing. In his key essays, he questioned the civilization which had suffered four years of World War One. He questions 'civilization' - what it is and if it can lead to such devastation between notions. It is believed that the title of "The Waste Land" (1922) refers to the mass destruction and the slaughter of countless people. In his essay of 1921, Eliot established his ideal poetry as one in which ideas and physical sensations are united or where thoughts are recreated into feelings.
At the same time, Ezra Pound was also penning the horrors of war. His war poem “Hugh SelwynMauberly” (1919) used fractured

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