Waiting for Godot

The Age of Modernism: Experimentation and Individualism College

Modernism was a movement that formed at the beginning of the twentieth century and lasted roughly 65 years. Cultural shocks, such as World War I, instigated the era of Modernism. While this war was meant to end all wars, people could not fathom that such an event was actually taking place, and the disastrous state of humanity that it revealed. After World War II followed within the span of a single generation, the morale and peace of Western civilization was profoundly shocked and dismantled. Discontentment led to new forms of thinking, art and literature. As a result, the Modernism movement was birthed, marked by an abrupt and unforeseen departure from inherited ways of living and traditional perspectives of the world as a means of coping with such emotional, mental and physical upheaval.

Modernism came forth as a protest against the reign of established custom. In its denouncement of “instrumental reason and market culture,” modernism set forth patterns that would shatter the status quo while providing a medium through which individuals could process and make use of the unanticipated emotions that a series of cultural shocks had stirred within (Armstrong 4). It was a way of discovering one’s identity in the midst of...

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