The Moderns 1900-1950 WWI 1914-1918: A time of… Great change Increased cynicism Questioning of authority Loss of innocence Disillusionment with tradition The American Dream: 3 Central Ideas 1. America seen as a “new Eden” 2. Optimism, opportunity, and abundance 3. Ultimate triumph of the individual Crack in the World WWI and economic crash--damaged ideals of American dream American literature shifting away from New England New intellectual trends: Marxism, psychoanalysis (Freud) Shifts in Literature Stream of consciousness writing Examination of subconscious mind Questioning of free will The Jazz Age: Here and Abroad 1919: prohibition Bootleggers and the speakeasy Flappers, jazz, gangsters “Roaring Twenties” Fitzgerald as spokesman 1920 women right to vote Expatriates Many writers moving abroad: cheaper, more exotic, more open Grace Under Pressure New kind of American hero Ernest Hemingway: influenced literary styles--plain, bare bones of truth and new hero Hemingway hero: tough, courageous, competitor, shows grace under pressure--and, disillusioned Modernist Poetry Am.poetry went into decline after Whitman and Dickinson died. After 1910, poets began to explore artistic life of Europe. Influenced by artists like Matisse and Picasso--exploring new ways to rep. reality Symbolism Taking world of “appearances” and violently rearranging to create more truthful representation Symbolism Wanting to get rid of national, religious, and psych.symbols--thought they were overused Instead, wanted to focus on the emotional effects that objects can suggest Imagism Concentration on the pure image to carry the poem’s emotion Desire to get rid of artificial, pretty poetry in exchange for the “raw power” of the image Poetry in New England and Midwest Some rejected “modernist” trends Some stayed here Plain, American speech--regional American heartland, rougher stanzas, looser lines (ie, Spoon River Anthology) Harlem Renaissance African American culture found expression in poetry Focus on unique contributions of African Americans Based in rhythms of jazz and spirituals Lyrics known as the blues; diction based on street talk Poetic Voices of West and South Poetry of the West became the inspiration of the later “beat poets”-some conventional and some experimentation Voice of the South subtle, graceful, and polished American Dream: Revised Moderns not “optimistic” like Emerson, but still saw importance of selfreliance and America as new Eden Ultimately experimenting boldly with style and subject matter Seeking answers to--who are we? Where are we going? What is our purpose?