The Modern period is defined by writers like Joyce, Woolf, and Lawrence. What stylistic elements do you notice in these writers? What similarities do you see?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The major over-arching ideals of Modernism include: 

Lack of connection to history or familiar institutions

Anti-traditionalism and reacting against normative religious, political or social views

Using words and language to construct the world as we perceive it

Truth is relative

Focus on the sub-conscious

Preference of the individual and inner strength

Joyce exhibits characteristics of the Modern Age in Ulysses.  The novel  itself breaks free from traditional organization in terms of plot and characters.  Ulysses also focuses heavily on the sub-conscious; the entire text reads as stream of consciousness.

Woolf focuses on stream of consciousness as well in The Lighthouse.  Her style of writing, characterization and structure, are very idiosyncratic—the reader can tell that she attempts to break away from the more traditional styles.

Lawrence—His novels portray the dehumanization of society and criticize politics (like in the poem “Hibiscus and Salvia Flowers”). 

The most notable similarity is the authors' preference for the stream-of-consciousness style and the use of the epiphany.

 

 

Preston, Peter and Peter Hoare, ed. D. H. Lawrence in the Model World.  New York: University of Cambridge Press, 1989.

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