English III AP/DE, Period 1
20 November 2014
A Rose for Modernism
Throughout American literature, different stories have been created based on the events, beliefs, and nature of the time period. Modernism enabled writers to expand mind-sets, thought processes, and views by focusing on deeper, psychological subjects. These psychological subjects created a whole different style of writing as shown in William Faulkner’s short story, “A Rose for Emily.”
The occurrence of modernism was around 1890 to 1930, originally introduced because of many historical events such as Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. This scientific theory drove people of this time period to start thinking out of the box. Their processes of thinking became more creative and not based on previous events or facts like many forms of literature before the time of modernism. Technological inventions such as the airplane, telephone, and automobile, as well as the development of mass communications media such as newspapers and radio” (“Modernism”), also influenced modernism because they enabled the world to be more globalized which changed many outlooks and views on the world itself. World War I held a large role in the becoming of modernism. The horrors of the war forced people to have a more pessimistic view of the world, where as in previous literary history the world was looked at in a more optimistic way. At the time of World War II, “Modernism became the standard against which later work would be compared” (“Modernism”). Each style in American literature is different. Modernism was felt to be a new way of viewing things unlike any before. This new outlook occurred because of many changes in professional fields such as sociology and psychology. These fields had a big part in the result of modernism, as well as politics that took place around the same time. The typical subjects that modernists would dwell on were of rebellion, motivations, fears, and the conflicts with one’s own self that is made aware to their mind (“Modernism”). Modernism changed literature forever.
Along with point of views and mind-sets of the people, the style of modernism changed certain characteristics of literature such as raising the level of difficulty in defining characters and their roles, attitudes, and tones. Point of views, story lines, and plots became more complex. Before modernism, authors would stick to only having one narrator tell a story from his or her point of view. Modernist decided to add complexity, stories should be told in multiple points of views or by different characters throughout the text. An evident of modernism can be a story that follows multiple protagonists in a select amount of time (“Modernism”). In many modernism-based stories, “The characters… possess features and personalities that are intricate and cannot be easily defined” (“Modernism”). Storylines and characters often shift around throughout a modernist story. These shifts raise the level of complexity in the character’s portrayal, the plot, and the overall story. Modernist write stories based on the occurrences and events going on around them such as the political and social upheaval, World War I, and the feminism movement (“Modernism”). This method drives readers to connect with stories because, in a way, they lived through a similar situation.
William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897. Although Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, he lived in a small town called Oxford, Mississippi. This town is the inspiration of most of his writings. Faulkner was a prose writer, but he started out as a poet. Even though William Faulkner transitioned from poetry to prose, he kept his attractive style of writing. To truly make his stories “real” Faulkner based characters, settings, and themes on his own personal life. His southern roots provided inspiration to him. Towns and settings were created identically to Oxford. Characters in novels were in close