About This Chapter
Literary Modernism in the 19th & 20th Centuries - Chapter Summary
Modernist literature represents a period when authors felt the need to liberate themselves from traditional styles of writing. This chapter looks at literary modernism in the 19th and 20th centuries by examining the works and styles of top authors. Review their biographies and learn about their important contributions to literature. Then test what you've learned by taking lesson quizzes and a chapter exam. Upon completion, you will have a good grasp of:
- The authors and style of literary modernism
- The lives and works of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett
- Structure and style of Ulysses
- Poetry written by Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes
- Works from T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.'
5. Ulysses: Structure, Style, and Characters
For James Joyce's masterpiece, we'll look at the differences between protagonists Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom, understand what Homer's Odyssey has to do with the structure, and talk about the novel's ever-shifting style.
6. Emily Dickinson: Poems and Poetry Analysis
Emily Dickinson was a well-known poet of the mid-1800s whose numerous works have stood the test of time. But what in the world did her poems really mean? In this video, we'll explore one of her most recognized pieces and analyze its meaning and purpose.
7. Langston Hughes & the Harlem Renaissance: Poems of the Jazz Age
Langston Hughes was a popular poet from the Harlem Renaissance. His Jazz Age poems, including 'Harlem' and 'I, Too, Sing America,' discussed the racism facing African Americans in the 1920s and '30s.
8. 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.
9. Tennessee Williams: Biography, Works, and Style
This lesson provides insight into the life, work and style of one of the most influential playwrights of our time, Tennessee Williams. His major works include 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.'
10. Arthur Miller: Biography and Major Plays
In this lesson, we will talk about the life of one of America's greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller. We will take a close look at his role in the American political scene of the 1950s and give insight into some of his most influential works.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Humanities 101: Intro to the Humanities course
- Literary Analysis and Movements
- Humanities in the Ancient World
- Oral Tradition
- Humanities in Rome and Late Antiquity (250 CE-550 CE)
- Literature of the Middle Ages
- The Medieval Period in Music
- Art and Architecture of the Middle Ages
- Literature of the Renaissance
- Renaissance Music
- Art & Architecture of the Renaissance & Reformation
- Literature of the Enlightenment
- The Baroque Era in Music
- The Classical Era in Music
- The Romantic Period in Literature
- The Romantic Era in Music
- Literature of the Victorian Era
- Modern Thought and Expression (1800-Present)
- Modern Music
- World Music
- Prominent American Novelists
- Studying for Humanities 101