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The Importance Of Modernism And English Literature

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Modernism refers to the radical shift in aesthetic and cultural sensibilities evident in the art and literature of the early 20th century, approximately between 1890 and 1860. Modernism marks a distinctive breakthrough from Victorian morality. Modernism stemmed from depression that had resulted from the tragic outcomes of World War 1. Moreover, modernists made language central to artistic exploration and focused on the individual and his alienation and confusion. Stream of consciousness is a postmodernist device that is the written equivalent of the character’s thought process. It is characterized by leaps in thought or the lack of some or all punctuation (“Modernism and English Literature”, 0:50:2:50-4:31:5:31). On the other hand, there is no fixed definition for Postmodernism, but it is considered a critique of modernism. Postmodernism argues that there is no absolute truth and that the basic structures on which we have built our whole society are just social constructs. Furthermore, intertextuality is a postmodernist device that draws upon the concept, rhetoric, or ideology, from other writings to be merged into the text. In the opinion of Kristeva, intertextual elements significantly contribute to construct the meaning (UnboringLearning, 2012). Altogether, Modernist and Postmodernist technique allow us deeper understanding of Prufrock in T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Notably, intertextuality helps us understand Prufrock’s lack of courage and
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