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What are the major differences between Victorian and Modernist literature?

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sbenge | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 22, 2009 at 3:06 AM via web

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What are the major differences between Victorian and Modernist literature?

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morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 22, 2009 at 4:56 AM (Answer #1)

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The main difference between Victorian and Modern literature is what Hegel referred to as "The onward march of human progress". The Victorians believed that humanity was headed toward a divine purpose. With each succeeding generation comes progress toward the overarching goal of humanity. This is evident in the chronological order of the Victorian novel. Modernists, however, as a result of WWI lost sight of this progress. Because of the war, writers were devastated and doubted purpose. This is evident in the fragmented style of the writing. Modern prose often begins at the end, and jumps around from event to event. It is more scattered and less hopeful.

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