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Modernism: Historical events that took place

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Something new happened in the Western world from about 1890 to 1940. This period is known as the Modern Age. This broad and diverse movement sought to capture the excitement of the audience. The Modern Age was a distinct time period when art and literature changed dramatically.

There were many historical events that influenced the ideas and attitudes of the people during this period. World War I and II had taken place and this devastated many parts of the world along with leaving many European countries in ruin. Not only did the world wars influence modernism, but the Great Depression did too. Overall, this was a bad time in America: two world wars sandwiching a depression. Technology was also becoming available with many countries stealing or sharing each others’ ideas. Sigmund Freud developed new ideas about the human mind, which allowed for people to know how it worked.

As with every age in literature and art, what is taking place at the time greatly affects the results of authors and artists. Something as huge as the world wars would probably make people feel pessimistic towards other humans or to as how they thought. The Great Depression made people feel gloomy and gave them a bad outlook as to how life really was. Although technology makes people apply themselves by thinking, it makes even more people lazy by them using it. Freuds’s psychoanalysis allowed for people to really see what was going on inside people’s heads and why they did what they did.

There are many unique characteristics about modern literature. Short stories didn’t really have an intro, climax, and conclusion; rather they just contained one main event and followed for the development of one character. Most of the characters were real people in everyday sites. The mood in most modern works was dark or gloomy. Many authors used symbolism to have something represent something bigger. Surrealism also came about, which encourages exploring the unconscious. Along with surrealism, romanticism was used too which emphasized emotion, imagination, and freedom of thought. Authors also described their characters, setting, and conflicts through exposition.

As with every literary period, the world events that took place while it was going on greatly affected it. These events created the characteristics of modernism. Art and literature changed dramatically during this time. Nevertheless, as with every literary age, it had to come to an end. Although it eventually did come to an end, its great changes in style and its effect on today’s literature cannot go unnoticed.

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