Modernism PowerPoint - Central Magnet School

View these images
from the Modernist
Era. In your comp
books, write down
your thoughts.
Comment on what
you see. Do you
notice any
similarities or
differences? Also,
listen to “The Rite of
Passage” playing
and see if you can
connect it to this era
as well.
(Monday BR)
Tuesday Bellringer
If you could assign character roles to the
people in our class, who would you
choose to be Daisy? Nick? Tom? Think of
the main characters in Gatsby, and assign
your classmates roles! Think of the
author’s use of characterization and based
on your inferences, match the characters
the best you can. Use your composition
Objectives & Standards
Objective: Consider the Modernist era and
analyze how authors and artists drew upon
what was happening in society. Analyze and
evaluate their works to find reflections of what
was occurring during their time period.
◦ 3003.7.6 Consider the treatment of a particular
subject or event in 2 or more media
◦ 3003.8.10 Analyze the development of similar or
contrasting themes across literary passages
◦ 3003.8.12 Locate words or phrases in a passage that
provide historical or cultural cues
Project: Committee progress?
◦ Presentations this week! Wed & Thurs
◦ Paper due through turnitin on Dec. 8 (Mon)
 Midterm Preparations
◦ We skipped around in “time”
◦ What we covered:
 Early American Lit – Anne Bradstreet, “Sinners
in the Hands of an Angry God”, Native
American Lit, Puritans
 Gatsby – Modernism Era (More today)
 Next:
◦ Declaration of Independence (Early National Lit)
Next Semester: Review Transcendentalism, Romanticism,
Harlem Renaissance, Raisin in the Sun
Modernism 1900-1945
took everything that came before it and
 Ignored all the rules of literature….
including the idea that a linear plot was
key to novel writing
 Roughly from the 1910’s to 1945ish
affirms the power of human beings to create,
improve, and reshape their environment
encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of
finding that which was 'holding back' progress, and
replacing it
embracing change and the present
thinkers who rebelled against nineteenth century
academic and historicist traditions,
believed the "traditional" forms of art, architecture,
literature, religion and daily life were becoming
Loss of the American Dream
Prior to Modernism, Americans
all believed in the “American
Three central themes to the
American Dream:
1. America is a new Eden – a
beautiful. bountiful, and rewarding
2. Optimism in the Future –
future holds abundance and
3. Importance of Individual –
every person is important, and
should be independent and selfreliant. Everything is possible.
Tenets of the American Dream: The American
birthright is one of ever-expanding opportunity.
Progress is a good thing, and we can
optimistically expect life to keep getting better
and better
Loss of the American Dream
“a feeling of disappointment
resulting from the discovery
that something is not as good
as one believed it to be”
During the Modern
era, the American
Dream seemed lost.
Events occurred that
made the Dream
seem unreachable.
People became
disillusioned in
“happily ever after.”
Breakdown of beliefs and traditions
World War I and the Great
Depression were turning
points in American life.
• These events led to a loss of
innocence and a strong
disillusionment with tradition.
• Marxism and psychoanalysis
were two emerging trends at
the time which also
contributed to the breakdown
of traditional beliefs and values.
• The study of psychoanalysis
led to the literary technique
known as stream-ofconsciousness narration.
The Jazz Age
In 1919, the Constitution was amended to
prohibit the manufacture, transport and sale of
alcohol, which was singled out as a central social
• Ironically, Prohibition actually ushered in an age
characterized by the bootlegger, the speakeasy,
the cocktail, the short-skirted flapper, the new
rhythms of jazz, and the dangerous but lucrative
profession of the gangster.
• Many American authors at this time left America
to live and write as expatriates in Europe,
especially France.
Historical Background
Modern period took place
during and after WWI, 1929
market crash, the Dust
Bowl and the Great
WWI – 1914-1918 – First
time Americans face a
bloodbath war. Beginning of
the end of innocence for
Prohibition – 1919
amendment prohibited
manufacture/sale of alcohol.
Alcohol was thought to be
central social evil.
Background cont.
1929 Stock Market Crash –
Economic destruction that
spread to a global level.
Plunged the US and the rest
of the world into the Great
Depression. Many businesses
went bankrupt and suicide
was at an all time high
Great Depression – Millions
of Americans suffered loss of
jobs, poverty similar to third
world poverty, starvation, and
loss of material items
Background Cont.
The Dust Bowl of the 1930s
lasted for eight years dust
blew on the southern plains. It
came in a yellowish-brown
haze from the South and in
rolling walls of black from the
North. The simplest acts of
life — breathing, eating a meal,
taking a walk — were no
longer simple. Children wore
dust masks to and from
school, women hung wet
sheets over windows in a
futile attempt to stop the dirt,
farmers watched helplessly as
their crops blew away.
Breakdown of Beliefs And Traditions
Trends Writing
Post-War writers became
skeptical of New England
Puritan tradition and
Previously, writers were from
the North. During this era,
most were from the South,
Midwest, or West.
With the breakdown of
traditional beliefs and
traditions, two movements
came about:
Marxism and Psychoanalysis
Marxism – beginning of
Socialism and Communism
Psychoanalysis – new field of
psychology that was
pioneered by Sigmund Freud.
The workings of the
unconscious mind, human
sexuality, and anxiety about
how much freedom a person
really has.
Psychoanalysis led to Stream
of Consciousness – writing
style that imitates momentby-moment flow of a
character’s perceptions and
Themes in Writing
Disillusionment is a
major theme in
writings of this time
 Self –examination and
dissatisfaction with self
 Paralysis
 Loss of faith in
Self-Reliance is a
continuing theme –
self reliance in the face
of disillusionment of
government/ authority
The New American Hero
A major theme from the writing of the Modern Era
was disillusionment.
 Disillusionment is the loss of belief in the American
 The disillusionment of the writers
came through in their characters.
 Though disillusioned, the new
American heroes were still admirable
– they were men of action, warriors,
and tough competitors.
 The new American hero had a code of
honor, courage and endurance, and
exhibited “grace under pressure.”
Hemingway Hero and Code
Belief in the self and
such qualities of
decency, bravery,
competence, and skill
as one can summon.
Important to
recognize and snatch
up the rare, good, rich
moments that life
offers, before those
moments elude us.
 The principal ideals are
honor, courage, and
endurance in a life of
stress, misfortune, and pain.
Often in Hemingway's
stories, the hero's world is
violent and disorderly;
moreover, the violence and
disorder seem to win.
 The Hemingway Hero act
honorably in the midst of
what will be a losing battle.
In doing so he finds
fulfillment: he becomes a
man or proves his
manhood and his worth.
Lecture Break
Writing Activity
◦ Flip your notes over
◦ Pair up
◦ Complete task
◦ Share out
Modern poetry
After a brief lull in American poetry
after the deaths of Whitman and
Dickinson, American poetry
flourished in the Modern Era.
Some poets, like Ezra Pound and T.S.
Elliot, explored new movements such
as symbolism and imagism to create a
new style of modern poetry.
Other poets, like Robert Frost,
continued to use traditional verse
forms to produce a uniquely
American voice.
Harlem Renaissance
1. Harlem Renaissance is the
name given to the period from
the end of World War I and
through the middle of the 1930s
Depression, during which a group
of talented African-American
writers produced a sizable body
of literature in the four
prominent genres of poetry,
fiction, drama, and essay.
 2. The notion of "twoness" , a
divided awareness of one's
identity, was introduced by W.E.B.
Du Bois, one of the founders of
the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People
MacDougald, Elise. Two School
Harlem Renaissance
Johnson, William. Street Life.
3. Common themes:
alienation, marginality, the use
of folk material, the use of the
blues tradition, the problems
of writing for an elite
4. HR was more than just a
literary movement: it included
racial consciousness, "the
back to Africa" movement led
by Marcus Garvey, racial
integration, the explosion of
music particularly jazz,
spirituals and blues, painting,
dramatic revues, and others.
Reuben, Paul. “Chapter 9: Harlem
Renaissance - A Brief Introduction.’’
PAL: Perspectives in American
Literature - A
Research and Reference
Guide - An Ongoing
Project. 02
November 2011. Web. 27