Modernismis the most significant literary movement in England and America during the twentiethcentury. Though out British literature history numerous of progression trends,and which many of them found in British Literature. It shows an expansive ofterms that describe the artistic movements and challenged traditionalrepresentational art forms and tested new styles and types. Modernism is one ofthe trends seen in some of British greatest novels, by way of “The Mark on theWall,” “The Garden Party,” and many more.
Modernism has transformed the wayreality was perceived and portrayed. “Modernism is extremely challenging todefine clearly because the term encompasses a variety of specific artistic andphilosophical movements including symbolism, futurism, surrealism,expressionism, imagism, vorticism, dada, and others.” (Modernism) A few characteristicsof Modernism are nihilism, allusiveness, inconsistent in metaphors, narrationthrough fragmented, and primitivism. Modernismput in place a series of culture shocks due to scientific change, as well asWorld War 1. It would go on to have a positive effect in scientific andtechnological progress as the path to a better world. Which Lead to thedevelopment of new transportation such as railroads, steamboat, airplane, andautomobiles.
Other discovery and invention would allow rapid communication andextraordinary growth in health care. Modernism became the approach that civilization viewed life andinfluenced social, political, historical or cultural issues. Modernism changed social problems threwnihilism which personal association redefined the relationship between Westernand nonwestern cultures. By shifting from an imperialist perspective to theexchange and diversity. Also, Modernism effected American society bydisseminating new and unconventional ideas which disturb society.
The effect ofModernism on culture embraced human empowerment. British culture wouldgradually turn less elitist but more democratic, leaving the elite culture tobecome more elitist. Political andhistorical influence from modernism was already apparent in the 19th and 20thcentury.
Modernism has dramaticallyinfluenced the rise of totalitarian ideologies, such as communism and fascism,and the resulting social unrest. In “The Mark on the Wall” by Virginia Woolf is a greatrepresentation of showing modernism through uncertainty, religion, change,trust and gender roles. Woolf usesfictional narration and a stream of consciousness as a first person by anunnamed female narrator.
The reason being, that the narration in “The Mark onthe Wall” shows a deep reflection of life, which encourages the readerimagination. Modernism can be seen in “The Mark on the Wall” when the narratorstarts to question themselves for example “No, no, nothing is proved, nothingis known. And if I were to get up at this very moment and ascertain that themark on the wall is really—what shall we say?” (Virginia Woolf 9). A clearexample of self-consciousness, what is a notable characteristic of modernism.
Virginia Woolf uses interior monologue to make “The Mark on the Wall” modernistexperimental fiction. The narrator starts by wondering how the mark on the wallgot there. There are much speculationand curiosity as to what the mark and how it formed. Virginia then takes us on a journey into thesubconscious, to places where you may not have gone before.
Nothing in thiswriting exemplifies Modernism more than the passage “Knowledge? Matter forfurther speculation? I can think sitting still as well as standing up. And whatis knowledge? What are our learned men save the descendants of witches andhermits who crouched in caves and in woods brewing herbs, interrogatingshrew-mice and writing down the language of the stars?” (Wolfe 9) Katherine Mansfield showed greatexamples of Modernism throughout her writings. She wrote of social evils,things unordered, destruction, challenging the belief of the absolute truth,gave a little description of the characters, and even disregarded tradition.The Garden Party is an excellent example of several of these components ofModernism. There are a lot of evident themes of Modernism in “The GardenParty.
” Katherine Mansfield uses fragmented sentences as a Modernisttechnique to convey the inability to articulate the narrator epiphany andexplores consciousness in “The Garden Party.” The narrator giveslittle descriptions of the characters in the novel, describing the workmen atthe party as impressive, wearing sleeveless shirts carrying staves. When Lauranotices one of the workmen, the narrator describes him as having “nice eyes hehad, small, but such a dark blue!” (Mansfield 60). “The Garden Party” never give too muchdescription of any characters, leaving the reader left to guess the characters’description. The uses of improper grammar by Katherine Mansfield is used toreflect dialect in many scenes in the novel. For example, when Laurie says “you might just give a squiz at my coatbefore this afternoon.
See if it wants pressing” (Mansfield 63). Another example is when Sadie asks Mrs.Sheridan for the sandwich flags, “If you please, m’m, cook says have yougot the flags for the sandwiches?”(Mansfield 67). Overall, who knew that a movement that started inEurope before the Great War would have an inspiration on the development inscience, theory, and exploration on how the human behavior is shaped. Modernism characterized by a deliberatebreak with classical and traditional forms, dealing with issues with class, thebattle for information, sexual orientation, pointless and estrangement of thetime. Also, the most significant literary movement in England and Americaduring the twentieth century.
The literary trend adopted social, political,historical or cultural issues. Notable authors such as Virginia Woolf,Katherine Mansfield, and W. Somerset Maugham found modernism to be influential.Becoming one of the most prominent trends used in British literature, changingthe way reality was perceived and portrayed. Modernism presented the fragmentedview of human subjectivity and history. However, gives fragmentation assomething tragic, something to be lamented and mourned as a loss.