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Ch 28: NES ELA: Modernist Authors in English Literature

About This Chapter

Dust off your knowledge of Modernist authors in English literature for the National Evaluation Series (NES) English Language Arts (ELA) exam with these brief video lessons and practice quizzes.

NES ELA: Modernist Authors in English Literature - Chapter Summary

This study guide is a quick way to review the major English Modernist authors and their literary contributions for the NES ELA exam. In these lessons, you'll cover the context and style of the Modernist movement in literature and explore the lives and major works of the following authors:

  • T.S. Eliot
  • Virginia Woolf
  • J. Alfred Prufrock
  • James Joyce
  • Samuel Beckett
  • D.H. Lawrence
  • Ezra Pound
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Katherine Mansfield

Our knowledgeable instructors use visual aids and an engaging, easy-to-follow teaching style to bring these authors to life. Watch the lessons as many times as you'd like until you've mastered the material. Gauge your understanding of lesson topics with self-assessment quizzes and a chapter exam.

NES ELA: Literature in Old English & Middle English Objectives

This chapter prepares you for questions on Modernist authors and works in the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature subarea of the NES ELA exam, which makes up about 23% of the total test score. In this test section, you'll be asked about the thematic, formal and stylistic characteristics of literary periods and movements, as well how historical, political and social factors shape literature.

In some states, passing the NES ELA exam is a requirement for becoming an English teacher. The test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions on reading, literature and communications, and is delivered electronically. Use the practice quizzes in this chapter to get an idea of some of the questions you'll be asked.

13 Lessons in Chapter 28: NES ELA: Modernist Authors in English Literature
Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

1. Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style

This video provides an introduction to the literary movement known as Modernism. Encompassing such writers as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, Modernism developed out of a sense that the art forms of the late nineteenth-century were inadequate to describe the condition of Europe after World War I.

Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

2. Introduction to T.S. Eliot: Author Background, Works, and Style

This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. It outlines his early life and move to England, and traces his stylistic evolution over his most famous and significant poems.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

3. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis

This video introduces T.S. Eliot's poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' It outlines the general setup of the poem, its enigmatic lead character and its stylistic characteristics. It also highlights key passages.

The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

4. The Waste Land: Structure and Style Explained

As an introduction to T.S. Eliot's landmark poem, 'The Waste Land,' this lesson will outline some of the key Modernist features of the work. We'll address nonlinearity, irony and juxtaposition, voice, and allusions. Through taking a look at each of these features, we'll try to understand why 'The Waste Land' is as strange as it is important.

Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

5. Introduction to Virginia Woolf: Life and Works

This lesson introduces Virginia Woolf's life and works. We'll cover her involvement with the Bloomsbury Group and the evolution of her experimental style across works like Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and the Waves.

Mrs. Dalloway: Analysis of Characters and Style

6. Mrs. Dalloway: Analysis of Characters and Style

This lesson outlines the characters, major plot points and style of Virginia Woolf's 1925 novel 'Mrs. Dalloway.' We'll discuss how free indirect discourse informs both the style and substance of the novel, and how memory and interpretation are valued more highly than relaying concrete events.

To the Lighthouse:  Overview of Style and Plot

7. To the Lighthouse: Overview of Style and Plot

An overview of the plot, characters, and stylistic innovations in Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse.' We'll talk about Woolf's use of voices and perspectives of multiple characters and her fluid sense of time within the novel.

Introduction to James Joyce: Life and Evolution of Style

8. Introduction to James Joyce: Life and Evolution of Style

In this lesson, we'll get familiar with James Joyce's life and works. We'll trace how his biography influences his major novels and how his style changes over time.

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Character & Epiphany

9. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Character & Epiphany

This lesson outlines the plot of Joyce's novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, while focusing on the development of protagonist Stephen Dedalus according to the expectations of the Bildungsroman genre. Additionally, we'll take a look at stylistic elements such as voice and epiphany.

Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Life, Plays, and Novels

10. Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Life, Plays, and Novels

This video will introduce the late modernist author and playwright Samuel Beckett. A close friend of James Joyce, Beckett's works typically portray a meaningless, absurd existence. This is epitomized in his most famous work, 'Waiting for Godot.'

Waiting for Godot:  Plot, Characters, and Style

11. Waiting for Godot: Plot, Characters, and Style

In this lesson, we'll explore Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play, Waiting for Godot. We'll look at its main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, and hear an example of their circular, sometimes nonsensical banter. We'll also briefly discuss the play's legacy in modern theater.

Introduction to D.H. Lawrence: His Works and Controversy

12. Introduction to D.H. Lawrence: His Works and Controversy

In this video, we'll introduce D.H. Lawrence's life and works. We'll dig a little deeper into his controversial portrayals of sexuality and explore the social politics at play in his life and in his fiction.

Even More Modernists: Pound, Stein, and Mansfield

13. Even More Modernists: Pound, Stein, and Mansfield

In this lesson, explore a few major figures in modernist literature who helped define the 20th century, including Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Katherine Mansfield. Test your understanding of these figures with a brief quiz.

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