Presentation on theme: "1900-1950 THE MODERN PERIOD. IMPACT OF GREAT WAR WWI 1914-1918 America entered 1917 America came out as “victor,” but the country was changing Evolution."— Presentation transcript:
THE MODERN PERIOD
IMPACT OF GREAT WAR WWI America entered 1917 America came out as “victor,” but the country was changing Evolution (and disillusionment) of American Dream
HISTORY OF AMERICAN DREAM Coined in 1931 by historian James Truslow Adams in The Epic of America Adams wrote: “that American dream of a better, richer, and happier life for all our citizens of every rank which is the greatest contribution we have as yet made to the thought and welfare of the world.... That dream or hope has been present from the start." Read more: 04, _ _ ,00.html #ixzz2PEFcBYcN 04, _ _ ,00.html #ixzz2PEFcBYcN
TENETS OF AMERICAN DREAM America is the “promised land” An Eden of unlimited resources and endless opportunities America progresses inevitably We expect life to get better and better America thrives because of strong individuals Everything is possible for the self-reliant person who places trust in his or her own power.
CHANGING AMERICAN DREAM american-dream-timeline american-dream-timeline
POST WWI TRENDS Marxism Karl Marx: Economic structure of society dictates every aspect of life; capitalism communism (classless society in which everything is owned communally and everyone receives benefits and rewards Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and study of unconscious mind Exploration how individual actions are influenced by unconscious (we have less control than we think) Movements reflected growing skepticism Influence on Literature: Stream of Consciousness
STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS Lacks chronology Attempts to imitate moment-by-moment thought process American Authors: Gertrude Stein, Katherine Anne Porter, and William Faulkner EX: Gertrude Stein CAKE. Cake cast in went to be and needles wine needles are such. This is today. A can experiment is that which makes a town, makes a town dirty, it is little please. We came back. Two bore, bore what, a mussed ash, ash when there is tin. This meant cake. It was a sign. Another time there was extra a hat pin sought long and this dark made a display. The result was yellow. A caution, not a caution to be. It is no use to cause a foolish number. A blanket stretch a cloud, a shame, all that bakery can tease, all that is beginning and yesterday yesterday we had it met. It means some change. No some day. A little leaf upon a scene an ocean any where there, a bland and likely in the stream a recollection green land. Why white.
JAZZ AGE Prohibition Bootlegger, speakeasy, flapper, jazz, gangsters Women vote 1920 “Roaring 20s” or Jazz Age known for being racy and unconventional Many authors and artists fled to Europe, particularly France Expatriates were dissatisfied with life in America. They no longer believed in the American dream and didn’t see America as a land of heroes.
“A WAGNER MATINEE” WILLA CATHER Homework (in your journal): 1.How would you characterize Clark? Why do you think Cather didn’t use a woman’s voice to tell the story? 2.What images of the Nebraska frontier does Cather use? How do they create a feeling toward the Nebraska setting? 3.What does Clark “understand” at the end of the story?
ELEMENTS OF MODERNISM Emphasis on bold experimentation Style and form reflect fragmented world Rejection of traditional themes Sense of disillusionment Rejection of ideal hero Modern hero is flawed but shows “grace under pressure” Interest in how human mind works
DISILLUSIONMENT IN LITERATURE Theme of major modern American writers Sinclair Lewis Theodore Dreiser Ernest Hemingway
THE NEW AMERICAN HERO Traditional American Hero Physically tough Self-reliant Innocent (Romantic) A bit of a loner (that goes along with the self-reliance) Embodies American Dream Hemingway Hero Man of action Courageous Tough competitor Follows code of honor (morals, strict right vs. wrong) Completely disillusioned
HEMINGWAY’S STYLE Omitted extraneous details Created sparse language to evoke the futility of modern life Simple, declarative sentences soothe readers in chaotic world
STYLE ANALYSIS Compare the first 3 sentences from these modern stories. “A Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather I received one morning a letter, written in pale ink, on glassy, blue- lined note-paper, and bearing the postmark of a little Nebraska village. This communication, worn and rubbed, looking as though it had been carried for some days in a coat-pocket that was none too clean, was from my Uncle Howard. It informed me that his wife had been left a small legacy by a bachelor relative who had recently died, and that it had become necessary for her to come to Boston to attend to the settling of the estate. “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemingway Krebs went to the war from a Methodist college in Kansas. There is a picture which shows him among his fraternity brothers, all of them wearing exactly the same height and style collar. He enlisted in the Marines in 1917 and did not return to the United States until the second division returned from the Rhine in the summer of 1919.
STYLE ANALYSIS Classify each sentence as to length: short, medium, or long. Cather 1._________________ 2._________________ 3._________________ Hemingway 1._________________ 2._________________ 3._________________
STYLE ANALYSIS Adjectives modify nouns. Count all the adjectives in each sentence and record. Cather Total # Adjectives: ______ Hemingway Total # Adjectives: ______
STYLE ANALYSIS How does Hemingway use language to reflect his own disillusionment as well as the futility of modern life? Consider diction as well as syntax and answer in a well-reasoned paragraph using support from the text.