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Explain the historical background and literary characteristics of modernism in America.

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Modernism can be described as an artistic response to the industrial revolution. After industrialization had changed the landscape of the Western world, modernism emerged. The industrial revolution changed more than modes of production. It changed modes of living and led, directly or indirectly, to a new global phase of bureaucratic nationalism and two World Wars. 

The significant shifts taking place around 1900 also included the advent of the automobile; the rapid growth, development and popularity of cinema; and the intellectual influence of Sigmund Freud. Technology was suddenly part of every person's life (to exaggerate a bit, but only a bit) and reality itself had been brought into question by Freud's theories. The old world of slow...

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