History of English Literature
(Written in 2007, published in this blog in 2011)
The Twentieth Century Literature: 1900-45
The Education of Act in 1870 that makes the elementary education compulsory for people in the age of 5 into 13 is the factor of the development of literary public, the rising of popular press, and the mass production of ‘popular’ literature for a semi-literate ‘low-brow’ leadership, that those at the end shows the existence of rapid expansion of unsophisticated literary public at this century. Moreover, the increasing access to literary and to education in general, led to profound changes in the reading public. The ability of writing a letter besides reading ability is the real example of literacy ability in the wartime because 1900-45 is the time when World War I happens.
Characteristics of Twentieth Century Literature:
- after 1918, ‘Modern’ defines the effect of literature that are to expand its range, to fragment its solidarity, to enlarge and profoundly change its audience, its forms and its subject matter.
- the influence of Sigmund Freud works about ‘unconsciousness’ as a sort of psychological theories among other theories has influenced literary works; therefore, the characteristics of this century is that there are many works of art that are difficult to read because readers have to prepare themselves before reading the works by understanding psychology, anthropology, history and aesthetics to get the meaning and the values of works. It is then, existing the ‘Against Modernism’ as ‘Modernism’ is the key concept of this era that means to battle the chaotic writings.
Poetry, Novels, and Drama