The Trends and Movements in the Twentieth Century English Literature: A Brief Sketching

 Literature as a whole grows and changes from generation to generation. It is not static, but dynamic because each age has its own particular point of interest and its own way of feeling and thinking about things.It is the comprehensive essence of the intellectual life of nation.We  may distinguish one age or the other by pointing out certain trends and movements that shape the one age or the other. Read More History of English Literature ( Essay) But what happens when we set to analyses the 20th century?  We are lost into the vagueness of variety and quality of literary works that have been product in this age. The reason for this variety and complexity of English literature is the impact of various foreign influences and  ideologies on it. No other life or literature has been affected so much  by exotic tastes and ideologies as English literature. In the present age science, Psychology, Politics, Philosophy and Anthropology all have invaded over literature and so are responsible for its complexity. The other reason for the upheaval in literature is the complexity of feverish and fretful life of a mechanized  man which is reflected in his thoughts and literature.

      Modern poetry has be some  a mirror of complex and purling civilization and its keynote is ‘difficulty’ or even ‘obscurity’ because learning  today has become multifarious and to the vast sphere of European learning has been added and blended with the mythological, Philosophical, religious columns of the orient, of India, China and Japan. Read More History of English Literature ( Essay) All this tangled mast is lodged in the poetry with as much jest as was shown by poets like Donne Johnson and browning The suggestive power of poetic diction as been carried to an extreme limit and irony, paradox, pun, ambiguity, the juxtaposition of diverse and contrary words and images have become a part and parcel of the poetry of our difficult age.



    The aim of the modern poet is economy, the use of minimum  possible words for producing maximum effect and highly elliptical diction where each words is charged with a wealth of meaning. Read More History of English Literature ( Essay)The distortion of language is so violent, indeed in its comparison even the wildest linguistic ‘rape’ of Hopkins has lost their sanctity  and even words have been telescoped and merged together in order to express the exact configuration of the thought processes , their turn and tangled webs- Joyce demanded at least the whole of readers life time for the comprehension of its meaning. Similar Process has also been at work to break and remould the structure of  verse of preparing a true, complex and many-sided mould for complex thoughts and feelings .
    Especially , after the world wars all illusions, on which men’s belief rested war shattered. T. S. Eliot in his wasteland describes the suffering and conflicts of humanity in the Nightmarish atmosphere of the present age.  D.H. Lawrence revolted against the industrial civilization and wished to return to the primitive tradition which was close to nature. Post war period was of universal madness. Aldous Huxley in his famous novel ‘Point Counter Point’ represents the spiritual vacuum that the modern man was possessed with. Virginia Woolf , unable to reconcile herself with the wretched life of the modern man committed suicide for she was caught between the two worlds. ‘One dead’ other too powerless to be born. She exploited the problems of death, life, time and personality.
    Neitzsche in his “Thus spake   Zarathustra” declared ,can it be possible, this old saint in the forest has not yet heard that god is dead. Since then the number of men of or whom god in dead is ever increasing. Out of step with nature with self and with the lows of historical evolutionary growth, the modern man has gone out of focus. Read More History of English Literature ( Essay) ‘In the spiritual crisis of Modern man’.Paul Brunton has left out the open secret , how at very hour of its grandest trial, when it has won the supreme conquest over the material things and subtle forces, world civilization turned into a tragedy. The modern who for long pitied his ancient and medieval fathers is now himself to be pitied. “There is a ground for declaring that the modern man has become a modern idiot or misfit in a world he himself has created  as well as destroyed."
  Modern drama also bears of the profound impact of the deep and baffling problems of the world or modern age. There was a European development. “The theater of the Absurd”, following the disillusionment caused by the world war. It and particularly by the world War II. Read More History of English Literature ( Essay)The phrase ‘theater of the Absurd’ was coined by Martin Esslin (Drama critic of B.B.C .) who after studying some playwrights points out the key themes as the dread, anguish, lack of communication, estrangement, alienation , self-crises among the human beings. Ionesco, a Romanian  dramatist defines: ‘Absurd is that which is levied of Purpose……… cut off from his  religion, metaphysical  and transcendental  roots, Man is lost, all his actions become senseless absurd, of bitter.'
    These playwrights dramatized the philosophy of bitter helplessness of man  abandoning logical construction plausible characterization and precise or poetic language. All the elements of  the play  exhibit the same senselessness and irrationality that they find in human affairs. Their theater ‘has  announced arguing about the absurdities of human condition, it merely presents it is being, that  is, on terms of concrete stage images of existence.
   To sum up, we may now conclude that the literature of the  modern age is no more  confined to particular area it become more universal as it have been influence by and  assimilated a number of isms prevalent throughout the world that leads to its complexity and obscurity.  

Popular Posts

Analysis of Mulk Raj Anand’s Story, "The Lost Child": Accepted Part of Our Multicultural Neighborhood in the World

Dr. West’s New Method of Teaching English :Its Merits and Demerits

G.B. Shaw’s Radio Talk, ‘Spoken English and Broken English’:Broken English’s Relevance in Today’s English Spoken World

Critical Appreciation of William Wordsworth's The Solitary Reaper

Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Essay "Modern Fiction"

Brief Analysis of R.K Narayan’s ‘Engine Trouble’: Greater Simplicity of Plot and Language, even as it Develops a Greater Complexity of Meaning to Exhibit the Domain of India

Critical Analyses of Henry Vaughan's poem " THE RETREAT"

Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers is Autobiographical Novel- Discussion on how Autobiography has Shaped the Growth of the Theme of the Novel and how Lawrence’s Personal Experiences have Shaped the Mode and Material

Analyses, after Marcel Junod, how “Hiroshima had ceased to exist” in “The First Atom Bomb”: Brutal Destruction of Hiroshima Pains us and Makes us Aware of the Great Dangers of a Nuclear War

Critical Analysis of Rabindranath Tagore’s Story 'Kabuliwala': Love and Waiting

Interested in more Literature resources? Check these out:

My photo

An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you."