Essay Modernism versus Modernismo

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Modernism versus Modernismo

Both Modernism and Modernismo were movements around the turn of the 20th century which caused cultural upheaval and renovation in times where the society was, or needed to be, changing. Modernism took place throughout Europe and in the United States, while Modernismo was a Latin American movement. The two movements share several general characteristics, but were, without a doubt, two separate and distinct movements, and should not be confused. Therefore, it is useful to clarify the causes, characteristics, and effects of each movement, comparing their similarities and contrasting their differences.


In the United States, modernism began in the late 1910s, was at its peak in the 1920s, and …show more content…

Oftentimes writers would intentionally break up the continuity of a poem, story, etc., representing the fragmented nature of the times they were living in. A prime example of this is e e cummings, whose poems are extremely fragmented and not easily understood at first read. Modernist authors often jumped spontaneously from one subject to another, seemingly with no connection between the two. The idea was to leave it up to the reader to draw conclusions and pull the story together. This technique, in a more extreme form, led to expressionism, surrealism, and other movements.

The most extreme modernists were referred to as the 'avant garde'. Their intention was to shock their readers and force them to doubt accepted norms and discuss 'forbidden' topics (Abrams 119).

There was no single forerunner of modernism, but many famous authors emerged from this movement, such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and D.H. Lawrence.

The transition from modernism to postmodernism came with World War Two, when disillusionment became too great to keep this exploratory attitude alive.


The modernismo, or modernista, movement developed throughout Latin America beginning in the 1880s and lasting through the 1920s, when disillusionment as a result of the carnage and destruction of the Mexican Revolution caused it to recede. Unlike modernism, modernismo had a definite initiator, Rubén Darío, of Nicaragua. While the

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