Modernist Movement in Ford's Good Soldier and Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
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Ford Madox Ford and Virginia Woolf were major contributors to the modernist movement. They, as well as others (such as James Joyce), were trying something new, by breaking down the boundaries of traditional writing. Ford's Good Soldier and Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway are two particular examples of the genre. These novels were not well-received in their own time. As time went on, however, the attitudes of the literary world changed and were able to finally see these works for what they really are – exemplary pieces of fiction, certainly worth merit.
The Good Soldier was first published in 1915. Rebecca West penned a promising review for the year, ending with “Indeed, this is a much, much better book than any of us deserve” (40).…show more content…
He questions Dowell's mental balance because he degrades Florence, his wife, for her indiscretions. Edward Ashburnham is guilty of the very same things, yet he is still regarded as “good people.” He also wonders at “the meaning of the narrator's nearly phobic concern with Catholicism, or of the way in which his slurs at Leonora are justified by her attachment to that persuasion”(46).
If the implication is that John Dowell is crazy, Schorer is failing to see other psychological reasons why a man such as Dowell would think this way. It is evident that our narrator has not fully processed all of the events before he begins to tell of them. In addition, Dowell obviously wants to continue thinking highly of Ashburnham the “good soldier,” and this completes John's psychological quandary. At the very least, Schorer recognizes the merit of The Good Soldier, and his essay appears to understand the deliberate complexities of the novel.
Charles Hoffman likens The Good Soldier to an allegory, “the breakup of civilization itself, heading toward disaster” (53). Even while the quartet is falling apart, however, they still put on the proverbial brave face and, to all outward appearances, are just fine. This can be applied to the world at large. Ford also exposes the evil kernel within the hearts of mankind. To others, these are “good people,” but they hold