Bellringer: 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 notebooks. 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 Review 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 MODERNISMDESCRIBED AS THE EXPERIMENTATION AND BREAKING INTO PIECES OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE, CHARACTERIZED BY MOVING AWAY FROM WHAT SOCIETY CONSIDERS “NORMAL” OR “EXPECTED” Modernism took everything that came before it and THREW IT AWAY 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 Modernism affirms the power of human beings to create, improve, and reshape their environment encouraged the re-examination of every aspect of existence 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traditions, believed the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religion and daily life were becoming outdated; Loss of the American Dream Prior to Modernism, Americans all believed in the “American Dream.” Three central themes to the American Dream: 1. America is a new Eden – a beautiful. bountiful, and rewarding land. 2. Optimism in the Future – future holds abundance and opportunity 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 evil. • 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 Depression WWI – 1914-1918 – First time Americans face a bloodbath war. Beginning of the end of innocence for Americans. 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 ideas/philosophies. 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 Trends 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 memories Themes Themes in Writing Disillusionment is a major theme in writings of this time period. Self –examination and dissatisfaction with self Paralysis Loss of faith in government/authority 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 dream. 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 (NAACP). MacDougald, Elise. Two School Teachers. 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 audience. 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 November 2011.