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Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

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Modernism in Literature: Quick Overview

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Don't confuse the Modernists movement with the standard dictionary definition of modern. Modernism in Literature is not a chronological designation; rather it consists of literary work possessing certain loosely defined characteristics. The following are characteristics of Modernism:. The horrors of World War I , with its accompanying atrocities and senselessness became the catalyst for the Modernist movement in literature and art. Modernist authors felt betrayed by the war, believing the institutions in which they were taught to believe had led the civilized world into a bloody conflict.

They no longer considered these institutions as reliable means to access the meaning of life, and therefore turned within themselves to discover the answers. Their antipathy towards traditional institutions found its way into their writing, not just in content, but in form. Popular British Modernists include the following:.

For writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, World War I destroyed the illusion that acting virtuously brought about good. Like their British contemporaries, American Modernists rejected traditional institutions and forms. Make a chart to identify aspects of modernism. In the left column list the characteristics of modernism; in the middle column find specific passages; in the right column write an analysis of the passage. The following are characteristics of Modernism: Marked by a strong and intentional break with tradition.

This break includes a strong reaction against established religious, political, and social views. Does sinuous mean something like full of sin"? I saw the word in The Devil in the White City. What does my brother mean when he says he's too ensconced in his studies to look for a girlfriend? My grandpa complained about a bunch of politicians making what he called chin music. Did he mean they were in a loud band? In Dracula, what's a missal? In the terms abject poverty and abject misery, what does abject mean?

In Moby-Dick, what does craven mean? What does cicatrize mean? What is a noisome smell" in Tolstoy's War and Peace? In Jane Eyre, what's syncope? I just read Dracula. What's the forcemeat in Jonathan Harker's journal? Can the word stern mean more than one thing? Where is Yoknapatawpha county? What does smouch mean? How do you pronounce quay? And what does it mean, anyway?

What are some examples of paradox in the novel Frankenstein? In Ivanhoe, what does mammock mean? What does rummage mean? Is a mummer some type of religious person?

Some guy I don't like told his friend I was acting all demure. When I complained about our cafeteria food, my biology teacher told me he wished they'd serve agarics. Was he talking about some kind of dessert? Where did the name Of Mice and Men come from? What genre would you consider the book, The Outsiders?

In Fahrenheit , why would a society make being a pedestrian a crime? What does the phrase, a worn-out man of fashion" mean from Jane Eyre? My teacher told me I was being obdurate. Was that a compliment? What motives inspired Iago to plot revenge against Othello? Who was the first king of Rome? What does enervate mean?

What is a parvenu? Is salubrity somehow related to being famous? Do capers have something to do with cops? What's the difference between a soliloquy and a monologue? Does the word inexorable have something to do with driving demons out of a person? Do people who prognosticate have some sort of special power? What is a hegemony, from James Joyce's Ulysses?

What are fallow fields? I'm a city gal who heard the term at a 4-H fair and just read it in Anna Karenina. What's the difference between parody and satire?

Lord of the Flies uses the word inimical. I saw vertiginous in Madame Bovary. What does mean the word mean? What does overweening mean, in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes? Can you hear a dirge anyplace but a funeral? Does imperturbable refer to something you can't break through? What are the seven ages of man? What is an injunction? For school I had to make a Napoleon hat, which called for a cockade. If someone studies assiduously, does it mean they're working really hard or really slowly?

Define mood as it relates to a work of fiction. Distinguish mood from effect. My sister calls me the Princess of Prevarication. This biography I'm reading about Queen Victoria says that she refused to remove the hatchment she had for her husband Prince Albert.

What does that word mean? What does sine qua non mean? What's impugn mean, from Ivanhoe? What does postprandial mean? I love reading fashion magazines and occasionally come across the word atelier. What does King Lear mean when he says that ingratitude is a marble-hearted fiend"? In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein , what are disquisitions?

My neighbor said she's been unshriven for years, but I think her skin looks quite shriveled. Over winter break, my uncle told me I was polemic and asked if I was on the debate team at school.

I came across a list of homonyms: I know mu is Greek for the letter m , and moo is the sound cows make, but what's a moue? What does trow mean? In Far from the Madding Crowd , what does cavil mean? Where can I find the word naught in The Scarlet Letter? I found an old diary from the s where the writer describes how he almost died but was saved by a sinapism. I know what mulch is, but what's mulct? When our teacher was introducing the next reading assignment, he said we'll be using the unexpurgated version.

What did he mean? For some reason, the word dingle sticks in my head after having read Treasure Island years ago. I never did discover what it meant. How about it, Cliff? In Dracula , what's stertorous breathing? What does philippic mean? I'm usually pretty good at guessing what words mean, but have no clue about exigence. How do you pronounce it?

I'm kind of embarrassed to ask, because it's one of those words everyone assumes you know what it means. I'm working on my summer reading list with Kafka's The Trial. The very first sentence uses traduce , and I don't know what that means.

What does the cormorant bird symbolize in mythology? I saw the word badinage in the book Uncle Tom's Cabin. Do you think that's a typo that really should be bandage? On a TV modeling contest, a judge said, Her simian walk is unbelievable. In Oliver Twist , Dodger refers to Oliver as flash companion. Can't find a definition of this anywhere.

Do elocutionists kill people? For my English homework, I have to write a love poem. I'm only 13 and I haven't had my first love yet. How would I go about writing about feelings that I haven't felt yet?

Where on the body would I find my sarcophagus? It sounds like someone who's stupid and built solid like a wall. What's a wonton person? In which play did William Shakespeare state that misery loves company? Is it a different way of saying comfort? Where did the story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley take place? What kind of person would a shallow-pate be? What are myrmidons of Justice" in Great Expectations? What did I do? In The Red Badge of Courage , what's an imprecation?

The word portmanteau shows up in a lot of the literature I read for school assignments. I did something really stupid yesterday, and my grandfather told me I was hoist with my own petard. And what's a petard? I read it in my finance class.

In The House of Mirth, what are oubliettes? In Tess of the d'Urbervilles, what are thimble-riggers? In Wuthering Heights , what's a thible? Which Hemingway story references the running of the bulls" in Spain? My dad mentioned that his granddad was there for a long time during World War I.

If somebody is toady," does it mean they're ugly? In the movie Failure to Launch , there's a line that goes, Well, she certainly is yar," in reference to a yacht. I got detention because a teacher said I was being contumacious.

What are billets in The Three Musketeers? In Orwell's , what is doublethink? That's a weird word that reminds me of orcs from The Lord of the Rings. What are alliteration and assonance? What is New Historicism? I found the word unwonted in a book I'm reading. Is that a typo, you think? In Heart of Darkness , what does cipher mean?

In the play The Glass Menagerie, would you describe Tom as selfish? What does Kantian mean, from a philosophical perspective? My girlfriend is freaking me out with stories of her dream wedding where she walks down a colonnade.

I know this is the least of my problems, but I'm curious. My grandma says she knows how I feel when I knit my brows. I know bier has something to do with dead people, but what is it exactly? My brainy brother owns a Harley and says his girlfriend is the pillion. Is he insulting her or just showing off? I ran across the word mien in a book. Is it a typo? Is a younker a person or a place? Does precipitancy have something to do with the weather?

A friend says she suffers from ineffable sadness. Is a maelstrom some kind of dangerous weather? What is the meaning of this saying, The cat will mew and dog will have his day"?

The Picture of Dorian Gray mentions a panegyric on youth. In Madame Bovary , what's a mairie? In The Kite Runner, what's palliative mean? In government class, my teacher mentioned that word when we were talking about the Blagojevich scandal in Illinois. Is intrepidity a good thing or a bad thing? My grandmother told me that she thinks grandpa should see an alienist.

Does she think he's from another planet or what? Do you have to have licentiousness to get your driver's license? I ran across the word hardihood in something I read the other day. Is it some kind of clothing? I saw mention of haversack in my history book. I'm guessing the word quadroon is four of something.

But what's a roon? I'm trying to understand Shakespeare's play, King Lear. Can you explain these quotes from Act 1, Scene 1? In Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment , what's a samovar?

I came across a music channel that featured tejano," and then I saw the same word when I was reading Bless Me, Ultima. But what the heck is prunella? Is it a purplish color like prunes? In Chapter 2 of Jane Eyre , what are divers parchments? A friend of mine said she hopes to get a counterpane for Christmas. In Wuthering Heights, what does munificent mean? The other day, my dad called my friends a motley crew. Is that his way of saying I should hang out with a different crowd?

Why is there an authorship problem with Shakespeare? What is it called when something is out of place in time, like a jet stream in a movie about ancient Rome? In , does Winston die from a bullet at the end of the book or is he in a dream-state? I saw some old guy in a soldier's uniform selling fake red flowers. He said it was for Veterans Day. I was kind of flirting with this really cute boy when my teacher told me to stop palavering.

Did she want me to stop flirting or stop talking? My grandmother says when she was a kid in China, she became Catholic because of the Mary Knows nuns. I tried to look that up on the Internet but couldn't find anything. In The Count of Monte Cristo , does cupidity mean love? I'm guessing that because of, you know, Cupid.

My theater teacher called me a name the other day. I don't think it was supposed to be a compliment. What's a somnambulist, anyway? Why was Tartuffe such a jerk? To Kill a Mockingbird has this word fey in it, but I don't know what it means.

Does it mean short lived or fleeting? Then I saw that word in Frankenstein. I thought it was like a place that had room service. I have a friend who said something about phantasmagoric. That's not real, is it? Which of the following literary devices is used in these poetic lines by John Milton? In Faulkner's A Rose for Emily," what does noblesse oblige mean? Why does Satan rebel against God? I'm reading Candide, by Voltaire, and one of the dudes is an Anabaptist.

In Romeo and Juliet , who was the last person to see Juliet alive? What is the Catechism? Is there a reference to venereal disease in Romeo and Juliet? What is fantasy fiction? What is the exposition in Othello? Who is the character Susan in Romeo and Juliet?

What is a found poem? What did Alice Walker mean in the essay Beauty"? Frankenstein create his monster? What is the name of the surgeon and the English ship he's on in Moby-Dick? What are the differences between an epic hero and a Romantic hero?

I'm in a literary dispute over this! Du Bois mean when he wrote of second-sight? What is nihilism, and what should I read to get a better understanding of it? What is the difference between an atheist and an agnostic?

What are intelligent design and creationism and how are they related? I would like to understand the poem Blight" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. When reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice , what does entailment mean?

What does ignominy mean? From Shelley's Frankenstein What does pecuniary mean? What is an apostrophe in Macbeth? Is music a language? Why should literature be studied? In the book The Scarlet Letter , what is a vigil?

What should I do now?! What is the exact quote in Hamlet about something being wrong in Denmark? What does Utilitarianism mean, from a philosophical perspective? What was the form of English that Shakespeare used? What was the "final solution" in the book Night by Elie Wiesel? With the many novels out there, is there a database of some sort that can narrow down your choices to a specific book of interest for pleasure reading?

And if not, why hasn't there been? How do you pronounce Houyhnhnms? How can Jordan Baker be described as a professional golfer? To my knowledge, the LPGA did not form until the mids. What are the humanities? What classic novels take place in Florida? In which Hemingway short story is the saying, "Children's shoes for sale"? Who is the "lady" that Robert Plant speaks of in the song "Stairway to Heaven"?

Was Odysseus the one who planned the Trojan horse, in the Trojan War? How do I get my smart-but-hates-to-read son interested in reading? Poetry gives me problems.

How can I figure out what poems are about? How do you analyze a novel? What does it mean to ululate? From Golding's Lord of the Flies Is ambrosia a salad? From Homer's The Odyssey What is a harbinger? From Shakespeare's Macbeth What does it mean to be refractory?

From Dickens' Great Expectations What is a querulous kid? From Wharton's Ethan Frome What does the word runagate mean? From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet What is the word, imprimis? From Conrad's Heart of Darkness What or who is a scullion? From Shakespeare's Hamlet What is a schism? From Swift's Gulliver's Travels What does it mean to be salubrious? From Shakespeare's Hamlet What is vicissitude?

From Wharton's House of Mirth What does the word replete mean? From Shakespeare's Henry V What are orisons? From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet What does it mean to be ephemeral? What does it mean to be placid? What does it mean to be farinaceous? From Tolstoy's Anna Karenina What does dejection mean? From Shelley's Frankenstein What is animadversion? From Shakespeare's Othello Someone called me erudite.

What is a mountebank? From Shakespeare's Macbeth What does it mean to be puissant? From Shakespeare's Julius Caesar What is a purloiner? From Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment What does it mean to be ostensible? From Dickens's Bleak House What is behoveful? From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet What is a precentor? From Golding's Lord of the Flies What does it mean to be loquacious? From Cervantes's Don Quixote What does imprudence mean?

Hyde What does it mean to be spurious? From James' Daisy Miller What is a retinue? From Swift's Gulliver's Travels What does the word forsworn mean? From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet What does the word hauteur mean? From Shelley's Frankenstein What is calumny? From Shakespeare's Hamlet What is an augury? From Sophocles' Antigone What does squally mean?

From Dickens' Great Expectations What does corporal mean? From Shakespeare's Macbeth What does it mean to be plausible? From Sinclair's The Jungle What is a dearth? From Dickens's Great Expectations What is a heterodox? From Austen's Emma What does it mean to be effacing? From Sinclair's The Jungle What is a soliloquy? What does the word prodigality mean? What does the scarlet letter symbolize?

What is the significance of Grendel's cave in Beowulf? What purpose do the three witches serve at the beginning of Macbeth? What can you tell me about Grendel from Beowulf?

Why is Roger so mean in Lord of the Flies? The old man and the young wife — what's up with story plots like this? What part does vengeance play in The Odyssey? What kind of a woman is Penelope in The Odyssey? Do fate and fortune guide the actions in Macbeth? How does Frankenstein relate to Paradise Lost? How has the way people view Othello changed over time?

What's so great about Gatsby? How is To Kill a Mockingbird a coming-of-age story? Why did Ophelia commit suicide in Hamlet? What is the setting of The Scarlet Letter? What is a slave narrative? Doesn't Raskolnikov contradict himself in Crime and Punishment? What is the main theme of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

What does Shakespeare mean by memento mori? What are inductive and deductive arguments? Why did Elie Wiesel call his autobiography Night? How does Shakespeare play with gender roles in Macbeth? What's the purpose of the preface to The Scarlet Letter? What role do women play in A Tale of Two Cities? Who are the heroes and villains in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? What are the ides of March? Was Kate really a shrew in The Taming of the Shrew?

What role does innocence play in The Catcher in the Rye? How are Tom and Huck different from each other in Huckleberry Finn? What is blank verse and how does Shakespeare use it? What is a satirical novel? What is the role of censorship in Fahrenheit ? How can I keep myself on track to get through my summer reading list? What is a major theme of The Great Gatsby? How does Shakespeare use light and darkness in Romeo and Juliet? Who is the narrator in Faulkner's A Rose for Emily"?

How is The Catcher in the Rye different from other coming-of-age novels? How does Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird show two sides? Was there supposed to be a nuclear war in The Handmaid's Tale?

What is experimental theater"? What is an inciting incident, and how do I find one in Lord of the Flies? How does King Arthur die? In Julius Caesar , what does this mean: Cowards die many times before their deaths How do you write a paper on comparing a movie with the book? Please explain this Kipling quote: Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. What is a motif, and how can I find them in Macbeth?

Why didn't Socrates write any books? After all, he was supposed to be so intelligent and wise. Why are there blanks in place of people's names and places in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice?

Was Othello a king? He's referred to as My Lord" but I'm not sure of his actual title. Where would I find these? What does prose and poetry mean? In The Scarlet Letter, why is the scaffold important and how does it change over the course of the novel? Why does the legend of King Arthur hold such a powerful grip over us?

Do you like to read books? What are the metrical features in poetry? What are the riddles that Gollum asked Bilbo in The Hobbit? Can you tell me what these two quotes from Much Ado About Nothing mean? What is connotation, and how do you find it in a poem? What is a dramatic monologue? What is formal fallacy? In the movie Dead Poets Society, what are some themes and values that are relevant to Transcendentalism.

Why didn't Mina Harker realize she was under Dracula's spell when she witnessed her friend fall prey to him, too? How could he be presented as a hero instead? In Romeo and Juliet , what are the different types of irony used? What is the main theme in Fahrenheit ? Chapters , confirms Darnay's release? Why is Invisible Man considered a bildungsroman? Rank that eventually prompts him to disclose his own secret? What is a definition of short story? What percentage of people are considered geniuses?

How do I write and publish my own novel? Do I use the past or present tense to answer this question: What is this poem about? Tips, Advice, and Warnings Graduate School: How would you use the PDSA cycle in your personal life?

Math I am confused about adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing negative numbers. Who are some famous female mathematicians? How did ounce come to be abbreviated as oz.? Given the set of numbers [7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42], find a subset of these numbers that sums to The speed limit on a certain part of the highway is 65 miles per hour. What is this in feet per minute? What is the sum of the angles of an octagon? In math, what does reciprocal mean?

How many grams in an ounce? A number is 20 less than its square. How much is 1, thousands? How do I find the angles of an isosceles triangle whose two base angles are equal and whose third angle is 10 less than three times a base angle?

Explain with words and an example how any number raised to the zero power is 1? What three consecutive numbers add up to ? How many ,,s in 50 billion? Of students asked if they like rock and roll or country music, 7 said they like neither, 90 said they like rock and roll, and 57 said they like country music.

How many students like both? What's the formula to convert square feet into square meters? In math, what is the definition of order of operations? What's the difference between digital and analog?

What is the square root of ,? What are all of the prime numbers? Our teacher told us to look for clues in math word problems. What did she mean? How do I figure out math word problems without going crazy?

What good is geometry going to do me after I get out of school? I keep forgetting how to add fractions. Can you remind me? My teacher talks about the Greatest Common Factor. What's so great about it? Got any tips on finding percentages of a number? How do I use domain and range in functions? How do I change percents to decimals and fractions? How about decimals and fractions to percents? What should I do if my teacher wants me to solve an inequality on a number line?

What is a fast and easy way to work word problems? How do you combine numbers and symbols in an algebraic equation? How do I go about rounding off a number?

Can you describe a prism for me? How can I double-check my answers to math equations? How do you factor a binomial? I get the words mean , mode , median , and range mixed up in math. What do they all mean? How do you combine like terms in algebra?

Can you make it easier for me to understand what makes a number a prime number? Explain probability to me and how about some examples? Solving story problems is, well, a problem for me. What's inferential statistics all about? Finding percentages confuses me. Do you have any tips to make it simpler?

What's a quadratic equation, and how do I solve one? How do you figure out probability? How do you add integers? How do you use factoring in quadratic equations? What are limits in calculus? I've looked everywhere to find the meaning of this word and I can't find it.

What's the definition of tesseract? In geometry, how do you get the perimeters of a square and a rectangle? What is the absolute value of a negative number?

A rectangle swimming pool is 24m longer than it is wide and is surrounded by a deck 3m wide. Find the area of the pool if the area of the deck is m 2. Where do I even start to solve this problem? How do you classify numbers, as in rational numbers, integers, whole numbers, natural numbers, and irrational numbers?

I am mostly stuck on classifying fractions. How do you convert a fraction to a decimal or change a decimal to a fraction? Sometimes when I'm doing my pre-calculus homework I need help on some of the problems. Do you know where I can find help on the weekends or whenever? How do you convert metric measurements? I'm curious about converting Celsius to Fahrenheit, or Fahrenheit to Celsius. How do I convert from one to the other? In basic math, the fraction bar shows division. So why does this equation show multiplication instead of division?

I'm taking geometry and I'm having problem with the angles and the degree. Is there a way you can help me out? The perimeter of a rectangle is 66m. The width is 9m less than the length. What is the length and width of the rectangle?

How many dollars are in 5, pesos? How many ounces in a pound? I'm having a hard time remembering percent of change. Is there a better way of understanding it? How do I figure out tangrams? What is the least common multiple of 8, 6, and 12? How do you convert decimals to fractions? Sciences How did the planet" Pluto get its name? I know it's named after the mythical god of the underworld, but why?

What does gender really mean? What does plum pudding have to do with physics? What is the functionalist perspective in sociology? What does pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis mean?

Why aren't viruses considered living things? Why does your breathing rate increase when you exercise? Everyone says you shouldn't clean your ears with cotton swabs because you could break an eardrum. But if you do break your eardrum, will it grow back? What is a mole? How, and why, is body fat stored? Where on the body do you find ciliated pseudostratified columnar epithelium? Since she was only married for 72 days, does Kim Kardashian have to give back her wedding gifts? In the United States, how can you get buried at sea?

What exactly is Salvia divinorum , and is it legal? What is the composition and volume of whole blood? Should I refer to a widow as Mrs. Is it possible to catch more than one cold at a time? Why does the Earth have more gravitational force than the moon or some other planet? Did humans evolve from monkeys or apes? What is the largest organ in the human body? How did we end up with both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales? What is absolute zero?

What is cell theory? How come when humans flatulate, it smells bad? What is the most abundant element in the earth's crust? Is global warming man-made? What exactly is wind? And why does it blow? This sounds really disgusting, but I'm curious: Can humans drink animal blood, or any other kind of blood?

Why is space exploration important? How is photosynthesis essential to life on earth? What is the highest mountain in New Mexico?

What's the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist? Who are the unbelievers" referred to in The Koran? What is it that they do not believe? What happens when you die? Why is it important to memorize where the 50 states are on a map? What kind of endangered species are there?

Can you give me some examples, please? It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open, so when you drive a car, is it against the law to sneeze? What are tectonic plates? I have boy trouble. I want to ask out my friend, but I am not sure he is going to say yes. Plus, he said he had a girlfriend when we talked during school. Plus, my parents don't want me to date. Why is the sky blue? Do you really shrink at the end of the day and then grow in the morning? What is the difference between matter" and "mass"?

What are closed contour lines? What does the periodic table look like? Do you know anything about the law of conservation of energy? Is it really a law? I thought I knew what work means, but my physics teacher defines it differently. What's up with that?

How do plants know when to drop their leaves? What's the surface of the moon like? How does the number of neutrons in the nucleus of an atom differentiate it from another atom? How do big rocks wear down over time? What does genetic recombination mean? How has DNA matching really made big difference in finding out who committed a crime? What's the difference between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems?

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Mini Lesson: Make a chart to identify aspects of modernism. In the left column list the characteristics of modernism; in the middle column find specific passages; in .

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Modernist literature was a predominantly English genre of fiction writing, popular from roughly the s into the s. Modernist literature came into its own.

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A Crash Course in Modernism & Postmodernism Modernism, as a literary style, emerged after WWI, beginning in Europe and then progressing into American literature by the late s. After the First World War many people questioned the chaos and the insanity of it all. Modernist literature was known for its focus on the inner self and consciousness. It contrasted with the previously popular Romantic period of writing, which took a much less inward focus and dwelled on nature and existence.

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Elements of Modernism in American Literature Modernism was a cultural wave that originated in Europe and swept the United States during the early 20th century. Modernism impacted music, art and literature by radically undoing traditional forms, expressing a sense of modern life as a sharp break from the past and its rigid conventions. Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style He got in a lot of trouble for writing a book called Lady Chatterley's Lover which, as you might be able to anticipate from the.