Please write a response to the discussion your classmate wrote. Response must be 150 words or more.
The short story that most exemplified Modernism, in my opinion, was The Daughters of the Late Colonel by Katherine Mansfield. The story tells of a very common, relatable way of thinking that occurs after a sudden, unplanned life situation. All of the feelings of grief, sadness of loss, uncertainty of the future and even feelings of guilt are present in this story and are exhibited at different levels by both Constantia and Josephine, thus following in the style of the Modernism era.
Mansfield’s style of writing is easy to follow, descriptive and creative. My personal favorite line from the story is, “It was dark in the hall. It had been a rule for years never to disturb father in the morning, whatever happened. And now they were going to open the door without knocking even…Constantia’s eyes were enormous at the idea; Josephine felt weak in the knees” (Mansfield). That short paragraph is both inspiring for one’s imagination but also sums up much of what the period of Modernism is to me personally. The following quote from a university’s website explains modernism this way: “Modernization replaces or transforms traditions, collective identities, and past-orientations with revolutionary activities such as doubt, inquiry, individualism, and future-orientation” (“Modernism”).
I think Mansfield’s story is a strong example of this movement.
As we embark on a new topic for the week, it is quite amazing how so many wars play a factor in literature. Modernism was a movement brought about because of many issues but none other than World War I. One of the most prolific writers of this time period was Virginia Woolf. She came from a wealthy English family; Her parents were much more free spirited and minded when it came to societal issues . Her Brothers were well educated at Cambridge while Virginia and her sisters were home schooled. This begins to shape her ideas on life and plays a major part in the modernism period. She was sexually abused as a young child by her half brothers. This along with the death of her mother were pivotal in her writings being of her in consciousness.
While at college she became close with several radical feminists. One of the most daring events she was involved in that exemplifies what modernism is was the Dreadnought Hoax, where several of her colleagues dressed up as delegates of Ethiopian Royals. Virginia even wore a beard to trick the Royal Navy to get a tour of The HMS Dreadnought. Modernism was the beginning of women and different cultural groups to speak up so that they were not marginalized and started to be seen as valued members.
The novel I chose to read was Room of One’s Own. It basically is narrated from the the viewpoint of Mary Seton, who is giving a lecture at Ox bridge. One can tell from the reading that her views on the college are bothering her. This lines up with Virginia’s views and views within the modern period on how women were beginning to speak out how they felt they needed to valued and wealthy Caucasian men. Yet she still felt many women portrayed from her characters view did not help the stereotype placed on women. The narrator says “The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes” (Woolf, 1929) shows from her perspective that with such a difference in how men at colleges were treated compared to women in college. Although the narrator is a character in the novel it is a reflection of the ideals and thoughts that Woolf was trying to express from her own experiences. It was extremely critical that Woolf and others during the modernism era continued to write and express their individualism and things that were not the norm. Traditional views of what was normal began to change and issues that were taboo began to become more common place and acceptable. This was everything her writing was about.
“Virginia Woolf.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 27 Feb. 2018, www.biography.com/people/virginia-woolf-9536773.
Patrick, Josh. The Main Characteristics of Modernist Literature. 13 June 2017, penandthepad.com/main-characteristics-modernist-literature-8451197.html.
The story I picked for this forum is “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf. In modernism literature the writers gave the reader a deep look into their own thoughts during a time that made many people question the future of humanity mainly because of the first World War. Woolf does an excellent job of expressing her thoughts in this story. She goes on to tell what she believes woman need to better themselves in the world and how women need to break through the stereotype of what a woman’s place in the world is. She also talks a lot about how men see woman, during that time were dominate in the work place and the household. The woman’s place was thought to be at home cooking, cleaning and raising the children, a lot has changed since that time and I’d like to think that woman like Virginia Woolf help pave the way for woman to become all that they have today.
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. 1929. Harcourt, Inc., 1989