Sunday, March 23, 2014
20th Century Literature
The Twentieth Century
HISTORY OF THE TIME
- Edward VII brought a renewed sense of gaiety and glamour to the musty court scene. Politically, he secured
the friendship of several major European countries, leading to Entente Cordiale and earning himself the title
Edward the Peacemaker.
- The reign of Edward's son, George V, took the nation through a war of unprecedented destruction.
- In 1933, Adolf Hitler, head of NAZI, became chancellor or Germany on a platform of rabid nationalism and
vengeance. When he invaded Poland, Britain and France declared war and World War II had begun.
- Saddled with debt and shortages, postwar Britain imposed a program of austerity on its already weary
citizens.Fresh fruit, canned goods, meat, and butter were among the rationed food.
- The sun set over the British Empire, which dissolved into a federation of independent nations.
- The economy fluctuated under the direction of prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major in the
1980s and 90s.
LIFE OF THE TIME
- The twentieth century saw enormous advances in women's rights.
- This century may well be named the Age of Technology.
- The face of Britain changed. Immigrants, mostly from the West Indies, began to arrive, swelling in number
from 547 in 1948 to 19,920 ten years later.
- Twentieth century women's fashions changed rapidly.
- In restaurants, Britons enjoyed Indian, Chinese, and other foreign cuisine.
- More than 800 supermarkets opened between 1956 to 1961 alone.
LITERATURE OF THE TIME
- After witnessing the horrors of World War I, many authors were inspired to write. Rupert Brooke expressed
the patriotic fervor of the beginning of the war, while Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen
recorded the savageness of the continuing war.
- In 1962, the tabloid was developed as a supplement to the Sunday newspaper.
- People are turning to the World Wide Web for some of the information and entertainment they once found in
- A new approach to literature appeared with the new century - modernism. The term modernism covers a
variety of movements united by the desire to break with the past, to change the structure and content of the
arts. Spurred by new ideas in anthropology, psychology, and philosophy, writers and other artists were both
creating and responding to new ways of perceiving and describing the world.
- At first exuberant and optimistic, as in the work of imagists such as Ezra Pound, the tone of the movement
was changed by the horrors of World War I to one of disillusionment and alienation - as conveyed in T.S.
Eliot's poem The Waste Land, for example.
- Poets broke out of established meters to experiment with free verse, and prose writers such as James Joyce
and Virginia Woolf incorporated into their work the new ideas of psychology, such as stream of consciousness.
- Through modernism, writers were able to capture and express the soul of their rapidly changing world.
- The brief fictional narrative called the short story has roots that go back to Chaucer, but in Britain the form
reached its full flower in the twentieth century.
- The Victorian tradition of great novel writing continued into the twentieth century. The novels of the time
reflect authors' continued interest in social-science theories of psychologists and philosophers.
- English has moved around the globe to become the dominant language of our day.
- The rapidly changing society of the twentieth century has added a great many words to the English language.
Posted by JING at 11:07 PM