Modernism is a general term that comprises other movements, which include: Naturalism, Imagism, Symbolism, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, Vorticism and Expressionism.
People who belonged to this movement were a generation of writers that emerged during the second decade of the 20th century.
Why were they called “Modernists“?
Because they wanted to give a new complex vision of man, under the influence of Freud‘s ideas.
In contrast with the previous writers that wanted to represent life in a realistic way, the “Modernists” had the aim to represent inner life as a continuous flow of thoughts.
Thanks to many philosophical principles, this flow took the name of “steam of consciousness“.
Accordingly, they used in their novels the interior monologue, which is a complex form of language. In this way, the characters were important for their thoughts and not only for their actions. In addition, the plots didn’t represent the events in order: they weren’t linear, but based on the free association.
Finally, the narrator, who used to be essential in the novels changed his role: he became neutral, indifferent and invisible.
Thus, the reader hadn’t a guide who influenced his judgement.
Features of Modern Novels:
– Free Association
– Interior Monologue
– Free direct/indirect speech