In order to help you with your question on examples of Modernism in James Joyce’s great short short story “The Dead,” let us first review some of the important aspects of the Modernist movement as it has been expressed in literature. Modernism first began to appear in the early twentieth century and continued through about the 1960s. Modernists were deeply influenced by the world-wide horrors of World War I (1914–1918) and its aftermath. The movement was also a reaction against the Victorian views and sense of aesthetic that had dominated popular culture for many decades prior.
Modernism is at times concerned with the repeated cycles of birth and destruction that allow new forms to appear and with themes of isolation from community. “The Dead” explores, with a surprising and profound conclusion, the meaning of life and death through the sudden revelation that comes to a character who is neither particularly wise nor insightful.
Modernist literature is at times marked by the...
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