20th Century English Literature

The 20th century of English literature also known as ‘pre and post modernism’ was an evident of two significant writers who brought major change in English modernism, one is Virginia Woolf (1910) and the other one is D.H. Lawrence (1915). English literature witnesses a drastic change of modernism after their presence.

Now modern English literature has become the extreme self- consciousness, introversion and skepticism crept. During this, period elements added like; anti- representational, verse libre and free verse. The novel written during this particular time was gone to another level as these novels were stream of consciousness and so narrative.

Modern English Literature after the end of the world war II a poet W.H. Auden came into being in 1947 and this age was called the “age of anxiety”. The post- world war was end of modernism with the death of few literary writers like; James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and W.B. Yeats.

 The liberal imagination 1950 entered after the end of the modernism and Lionel Trilling in his book “The Liberal imagination 1950” called for moral realism, that would embody the tragic sense of life that literature should reflect.  In this era, sensitive expression of human and skepticism which was higher than politics and deeper than social report. Now the literature saw the world in its human multiplicity and variety and also capable of portraying the contradiction and ambiguity that lay beyond the parameters of ideology and certainty.

The most important strain of this era was variability of human nature. In this strain, protagonist moved along with imbued with the sense of alienation and beset by a sense of anguish.

Modern English literature has variety of subjects play for example; Ben Jonson introduced “theatre of Absurd” through his play “Waiting for Godot”. Also “old avant garde” faded away in 1940 and new “avant- garde” arrive.

However, Post- modernism breaks the established pattern and style of writing and added fresh perspective of human being’s position, position and function and become more experimental with new and great form of styles.

Post- modernism is an extension trends, pattern style and trends rather than amorphous in nature. So, post modernism based on eclectic approach. Eclectic approach contains technique like expressing random, unaccountable experiences that involve acts of like; parody, creativity and pastiche with their imitative undertone.

Also, the “noveou- roman” and the anti- novel surface in post- modernism. The post modernism English literature subjects like; plot action, narrative and analysis of characters are often seen to be extraneous.

Therefore, authors and writers of this era like James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Marcel Proust and Samuel Becket show regard in this particular field.

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