The Evolution Of Postmodernism

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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The change from modernism to postmodernism was a direct result in the changes in society. Events such as World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the civil rights movement affected the way people looked at the world. Things were changing faster than they had ever before and many people had trouble dealing with it. In a matter of thirty years, the social norm went from a conservative, divided nation to a liberal almost united nation. With all of this change and the fact that literature and art reflect the society and culture of the time, it can easily be seen why this change in writing occurred.

Modernistic literature is defined as "an expression of contemporary history in all it's chaos, anxiety, technological development, and rapid change; an attempt to construct a new view of the world and of human nature through self-conscious manipulation of form."� (Lawall) As stated in the definition, this form of literature came about as a result of the world changing faster than anyone had previously seen.

Writers were trying to capture the uneasiness that the world was feeling in their writing. The switches to postmodernism writing made things become unclear. People begin to doubt and challenge the morals and beliefs of past generations. Most of this was do to wars and internal conflicts that made people ask the question "why?"�. People were voicing their opinions and challenging authority. All of this uncertainty the world was feeling is reflected in the very meaning of post-modernistic literature. Post-modernistic literature is "a style that play with allusions, interruptions, contradictions, and blurred references, as if to disorient a reader who seeks to reduce human events to one demonstrated meaning."� (Lawall) The writers of the time tried to capture civil unrest and unwillingness to change in America. The civil...