Modernism: Just another Word for the 20th Century

599 WordsJan 30, 20182 Pages
Modernism is just another word for 20th century. It was a movement which started in the beginning of the 20th century and carried on until about the 1960’s. To understand the reasons behind the rise of modernism, one must understand the eras that came before it, namely the Romantic Period and the Victorian Era. Romanticism is mostly concerned with subjectivity. Poets and others such as composers drew inspiration from their own experiences and feelings. They exalted emotion over reason and senses over intellect. Romanticists also loved (drew inspiration from) nature and often used it in their poems or compositions. Whereas in the Victorian era (which came after the Romantic Period), the subject matter for poetry was often socially-oriented. Victorian literature often saw a drive for social advancement. There was a set of standards and codes of conduct making people have, what was seen as “proper” behaviour. This in turn led to Modernism. The Modernist Period was first a reaction against the previous Victorian culture. Intellectuals and artists of the 20th century believed that the previous era’s way of doing things was a cultural dead end and they wanted to break away from traditions. What further contributed to the rise of modernism was the First World War, which shell-shocked many. People lost their sense of certainty and it made them change their points of views. It made modernists question civilisation. This is seen in T.S Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland” which questions

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