What are the themes and characteristics of Modernism? 

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Modernism was marked by a deliberate, intentional break with tradition. Modernism challenged established religious, political, and social ideas. In the wake of First World War, with its catastrophic bloodshed, it seemed that many old cultural certainties had vanished forever. Modernism sought to mirror the uncertainties of the time while at the same time adding to them.

Modernism emphasized subjective perception rather than objective truth. Modernists didn't deny the existence of objective truth, but they believed that an overemphasis on objective truth ignored the vast, hitherto unexplored depths of human subjectivity. Modernist authors such as Virginia Woolf and James Joyce used the literary technique known as stream-of-consciousness to elucidate the inner workings of the mind in its engagements with the external world.

Modernism focused on individualism. For the most part, modernists saw themselves as individualists, pitting themselves against a society in decline. As many of the old values...

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