William Carlos Williams 's The Twentieth Century

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The early twentieth century in the United States was a time of rapid change combined with rapid loss. As new technologies designed to improve everyday living became available to people across the nation, a new culture was rising in America: a culture that both afforded comfort and thrived on capitalism. There were many critics of this new America, including poets Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams. The aforementioned poets reflected on a fast changing America through exploitation. As an American, Poet William Carlos Williams believed that the twentieth century culture in America was at a decline. With modern inventions and the growth of a capitalist America, suburbanites and rural Americans were suffering from the urbanization and industrialization of America. William Carlos Williams lived in the suburbs and worked as a family physician, where he observed much of his suburban America (. Through his observations, on people he could see a generalization of what was changing throughout the twentieth century and its effects on people like himself. His poetry appreciated America for what it was while critiquing what he saw it becoming, a “degeneration of rural communities” which meant a decline of American culture. (Monacell, 125). For example, Williams’ poem “To Elsie” demonstrates a critique on American culture that has been tainted by modernity. Elsie, as in the “To Elsie”, was a nursemaid who worked for Williams’ family. Williams “finds in Elsie an analogue for

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