Explain literary features of the Early Modern Age 1890-1938
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The period you’re referring to, is the Late Victorian age (1890-1901), Modern Age (1901- 50s) comprising the war years (1914-1918) and again at 1939-45.
Firstly, Individualism- some of the great English novelists focused on an individual coming into collision with the society, for example, Tess of the D’urbervilles (Hardy), Middlemarch (Eliot). Novels started to showcase the force of sexual desires among the characters which were earlier considered as Taboo in English literature.
Secondly, Experimentation was another literary feature of that age where writers abandoned the old techniques and forms and started writing in free verses such as in the cases of W.B. Yeats, Auden, T.S. Eliot, who discarded the traditional rhyming techniques and started writing with images mixed from past with modern consciousness. Novelists such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf developed the form of narration called stream of consciousness.
Thirdly, Absurdity- The brutal picture of the two world wars deeply affected the writers of the period. The overall carnage turned the consciousness of the writers into absurdity each day.
Fourthly, Symbolism- Although not a modern concept yet the modernists’ use of symbols in their work was an innovation. Their works left the readers’ imagination to wander farther than the earlier writers.
Lastly, Formalism- Writers of this period saw literature as not something as a plain flowering of creativity but as a craft.