All Quiet On The Western Front Modernism Essay

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Modernism is a literary and artistic movement of the 20th century that can be defined as a set of values produced between World War I and II. Some examples of Modernist Literature are the essays Modern Fiction by Virginia Woolf and From Romanticism and Classicism by T.E. Hulme. These essays characterize Modernism by it’s rejection of materialism and the sensible view of hopes and dreams that it holds. And though not all pieces created in this time were an example of modernist literature, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque is. This is due to its strong stance that man has limits, unlike the past literary movement, Romanticism, which viewed man as a somewhat perfect creature possible of anything, and the fact that it strayed from materialism, and focused more on internal conflict. A vital aspect of the Modernist movement is focusing…show more content…
Virginia Woolf criticizes many romantic authors, discussing how they are too focused on the external, but not focused enough on a the spirit of a person. She labels romantic authors as trivial: “If we fasten then, one label of all of these books, on which is one word materialists, we mean by that they write of unimportant things; that they spend immense skill and immense industry making the trivial and the transitory appear the true and enduring” (Woolf 159). By this she means that what really matters is the spirit of the characters and of the people, and not the material things around them. All Quiet on the Western Front, is from Paul’s first person perspective, so we get to look at his thought process unfolding. Due to this, the text most often focuses on his thoughts and feelings, or his “spirit”, as opposed to material things. For example, he discusses how the richest are not always the wisest: “The wisest
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