Events of the Times Advances in Industry World War I Great Depression World War II Cold War Begins What are the positive and negative factors influencing the Modern Period? How might this have influenced literature?
Modernism was a deliberate attempt to distance the arts of the 20th century from any work that had come before. The screaming pace of industrialization and the brutality and loss of the first world war led artists to decry the upper-class-feeling decorativeness of the immediate past, not to mention THE PAST in a general way. Pared down, daily experience, communicative - these were the sought-after qualities. Nothing was meant to feel "styled" for effect.
Other Goings-On Communism: Russia, Germany, China. What do you know about communist governments that grew during this time? Modern Era was after (and in direct response to) the Victorian Era. Development of the English Language The changes that took place in the 20 th century were reflected in the fads, fancies, and language of popular culture.
Breakdown of social norms Separation of meanings and senses from the context Spiritual loneliness Alienation Frustration Disillusionment Rejection of history Rejection of outdated social systems Objection to traditional thoughts and traditional moralities Objection to religious thoughts Two World Wars' effects on Humanity
Stream of consciousness Juxtaposition of characters Classical allusions Personification Quotation Pun Satire Irony Unconventional use of metaphor Symbolism Psychoanalysis Discontinuous narrative
William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939) Considered by many the greatest poet of the 20 th century Visionary who developed his own set of beliefs to answer his questions about life and help him interpret the future T.S. Eliot (1888 – 1965) Poet, playwright, and influential literary critic W.H. Auden (1907 – 1973) His poetry defies categorization – a true Modern
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Please copy these questions on your own ½ sheet, marked clearly with your name, today’s date, and the class period. 1. What were Modern poets attempting to achieve? (1 point) 2. Name two common themes a reader is likely to encounter in a poem from the Modern Period? (2 points) 3. Based on the historical context you have been given, briefly explain two ways that you can identify “The Second Coming” as a definitively Modern poem. (2 points)