A Brief Look at Modernism

1198 WordsFeb 26, 20185 Pages
Modernism was a prevalent movement and developed an era in the twentieth century that shaped the coming decades and Western ideas. Stemming from World War I, its culture, art and philosophy reveals the mindset of modernity and how the historical events of that time influenced life and society. T.S. Eliot was a part of the literary and artistic movement called Modernism, which can be seen best in his poem “The Waste Land.” The concept of the wasteland was a powerful one to his generation. His poem depicts an image of the modern world through the perspective of “the common man” finding himself hopeless and confused about the condition of society. The poem paints a picture of a disjointed and desolate world through apparent confusion and chaos that that is achieved through fragments and allusions. “The Waste Land” demonstrates the present-day wasteland as a metaphor of modern Europe to depict the loss of culture and history that was suffered due to the war. Arguably, the most important aspect of the poem is its fragmented nature used to depict a post World War I wasteland. Rather than using facts to show the state of Europe, Eliot uses several poetic elements to convey this, particularly the allusive and obscure to paint an image of physical desolation of the war torn society and also communicate a sense of loss and despair. The image of London, in the first section “The Burial Dead,” gives a sense of the trauma and cultural desolation caused by the war. The narrator,
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