some key differences between modernism and postmodernism in Literature

In today’s article, we will discuss the major similarities and differences between modernism and postmodernism.

Modernism vs Postmodernism

Modernism is a school of thought that began on or about December 1910. Major changes occurred in music, art, applied arts, and literature. The dates of modernism are in dispute, but some theorists believe that modernism flourished before world war II and was highly inspired by world war I.

In modernism, the roots of technology and theories mainly changed in the late 19th century. James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Freud, Marx, Nietzsche, and Darwin belong to modernism. Some the modernists like James, Ezra, and others transformed the advances of the visual arts into literature. Moreover, stream of consciousness became the popular writing standard in this era.

What are the beliefs of the modernists?

There were two major beliefs of modernists, i.e., Myth and Metropolis.

According to the modernist motif, the myth is a simplistic way of ordering or controlling by shaping and giving importance to the immense view of futility, uselessness, and anarchy.

Metropolis is declared as an unreal city according to modernists, and it is a city that was broken in parts due to social pressures and rebuilt through the power of myth and language.

What were the major influences on modernism?

During the modernism era, some intellectuals brought different concepts to modernism. They concluded that darkness, corruption, and anger make ineffective conventional morality. Rather, they argued in favor of artificiality and uniqueness and moved one step forward regarding convention and constraint.

What was dandy in modernism?

In modernism, the dandy is considered an aesthete focused on refining language, concerned about physical appearance, and leisurely hobbies. Charles Baudelaire was one of the modernist influencers who defined dandy as those people who raised or uplifted attractiveness to a living religion. Bergson, as a modernist, introduced Creative evolution. He believed that the time of consciousness is based on multiple interrelated levels. According to him, reality is a constant state of dynamic in which the past, present, and future are covered as a continuation of a single unit.

Architecture in Modernism

Architecture in modernism was changed during modernism. The architects of modernism emphasized function rather than imitation. Modernist architects believe that the main function of architecture should provide for specific needs, not copy nature.

Salient features of Modernist Architecture:

1. They focus on the function rather than imitation

2. They do not want any sort of heavy ornamentation in architecture. But in little amount.

3. They prefer man-made materials

4. They rejected all traditional styles even though they became a rebellion against them.

 Furniture in modernism:

The furniture of modernism was usually made of metal and other high-tech materials. The shape of their furniture is determined by its material and function. They prefer minimal use of embellishments and the use of basic and important elements.  

Salient features of furniture in modernism.

1. The color of the furniture in modernism was black, gray, and white.

2. Less use of style.

3. Use important elements in it.

Unlike Postmodernism or post-modernism is a school of thought opposite to modernism. It deals with fragmentation and unity. According to postmodernism, order and rationality are neither essential nor possible. It questions the superiority and sometimes orders. They reject natural reality and say that there is no existence of “TRUTH.” They also believe that technological and scientific knowledge is the cause of destruction, and massive killings in World War II is an example of it.  

What is Simulacrum in Post modernism?

The simulacrum is a system of stimulations. It is a thing that uses representation in place of reality. According to Jean Baudrillard, one of the postmodernists who says that the contemporary world is the manifestation of a simulacrum in which reality was denied by using false images, and due to those false images, we are unable to differentiate between the real and artificial.

Stages of Simulacrum in Post modernism?

There are four stages of Simulacrum in Postmodernism. There are different signs in each stage.

1st Stage: it represents a basic reality like the paintings of L.S Lowry manifest the repetitiveness and monotony of life in the mid of 20th century.

2nd Stage: it highlights the misrepresentation of the reality like the condition of Liverpool and Hull cities were worse, but the paintings of John Atkinson Grimshaw showed as glorified and romantic.   

3rd Stage: conceals the fact and does not show the actual reality. Like in the work by Rene Magritte, a painting was shown beyond the window but did not show the actual reality.

4th Stage: In the 4th stage, some signs do not deal with reality. In other words, they use abstract painting, which did not contain any reality but merely abstract things, and the paintings of Mark Rothko are the perfect example of this stage.

What are the demerits of Postmodernism?

Here are some demerits of Postmodernism:

1. Neglected social and personal realities.

2. Doubts regarding culture and its future

3. arouse the feelings which were lack of insecurity for sustaining the capitalism.

4. Delete the peripheral power.

Architecture in Postmodernism:

In postmodernism, the architecture was unlike modernism. They create innovative ideas with a combination of traditional styles. The buildings in postmodernism were full of amusement and even surprising. Apart from that, they use familiar shapes and designs in unique ways. The structures of postmodernism delight the viewer as they include some kind of symbol.

Who were the writers of Postmodernism?

Following were the famous writers of postmodernism.

1. John Barth

2. Thomas Pynchon

3. Donald Barthelme

4. Norman Mailer

5. Truman Capote

6. John Fowles

7. Margaret Drabble

8. Doris Lessing.

Is there any poet of postmodernism?

Yes, there are some poets whose works are related to postmodernism to some extent, and the poets of postmodernism were John Berryman, John Asberry, and James Merrill.

Thus, this was the major difference between modernism and postmodernism regarding work, structure, and language. Each school of thought has its perception and keeps importance. 

Similarities between Modernism and postmodernism

Along with differences, there are some similarities between modernism and postmodernism, which are given below:

1. They emphasize parody, playfulness, and pastiche

2. They discarded rigid genre differences.

3. They gave preference to fragmentation, reflexivity, and obscurity.

4. They gave importance to the dehumanized and decentered subject.  

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