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Modernism and World War 1I am studying Modernism in World War One. That is its impact,...

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regnioshow | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM via web

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Modernism and World War 1

I am studying Modernism in World War One. That is its impact, its consequences, its approach in litterature or any other opic. Thanks a bunch guys for your help.

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regnioshow | Student , Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM (Answer #2)

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I meant topic

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 24, 2012 at 12:26 AM (Answer #3)

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Modernism was a response to industrialization, and the effects of industrialization on humanity.  Our society changed greatly over the 19th century, and by World War I it must have seemed like the world was a truly horrifying, pretty hopeless place.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:15 AM (Answer #4)

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Many modernist writers were in WWI or saw first-hand the effects of that devastating war on the people involved. One notable example is Earnest Hemingway. He and others became disillusioned about the nobility of war and traditional ideas of heroism and valor. They started to question the the value of many traditional ideas including ideas about writing. They wrote in a very realistic vein and challenged their readers to discern the meaning of a story as opposed to providing a tidy ending with the theme made explicit.

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:56 AM (Answer #5)

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World War I caused many people to think that western civilization was in decline and that it had become wantonly self-destructive. Part of the impact of this kind of thinking can be seen in the fairly pessimistic poems of writers such as T. S. Eliot, particularly in such poems as The Waste Land.

eNotes, as might have been expected, has a nice discussion of this:


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e-martin | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 24, 2012 at 3:40 AM (Answer #6)

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An argument can be made that both WWI and Modernism grew out of the same set of changing circumstances.

Governments and nations were in a state of flux paralleled a flux in "man's state of being", which turns inward in Modernism, exploring what happens internally to a person as the historical and external modes of identification are outrun by the burst of industry, commerce, automobiles, powered flight, and the rest of the suite of changes taking place from the late 1890s to the end of WWII.


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