Elements of Modernism

546 Words2 Pages
The years between World I and World War II brought about vast changes in society. During this period the ideology of Communism was born, the assembly line was invented which provided for mass production of automobiles, women gained the right to vote, the stock market crashed and Great Depression occurred. People were questioning the old school of thought and new philosophies were born. New forms of art, music and literature emerged to reflect these changes in thought called modernism. William Faulkner's novel "As I Lay Dying" displays many elements of the modernist form in literature.
Fragmentation is a prevalent element of modernism in "As I Lay Dying". The novel is written as a narrative told by several people, each presenting their personal point of view. The reader must take into account that first person point of view is not reliable and, if the situation is described by more than one narrator, and find the truth somewhere in between. Although the story is told in small accounts by many different people, the reader can piece together what are the main ideas of the storyline because it is written in a non-linear style that often backtracks adding to the foundation of the story. Therefore, use of fragmentation in the novel makes the reader "read between the lines" to comprehend the story. Each fragment of the novel not only adds to the plot, but also many subplots, as in "As I Lay Dying". Subplots presented in the novel include the many different agendas each
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