American Literature Modernism Essay

Introduction to volume D (1914-1945)

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Robert Frost, “Mending Wall,” “Birches,” “Out, Out-”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Babylon Revisited”

Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants”

William Faulkner, “A Rose For Emily”

Select one of the themes/concerns from the list posted as a Supplemental Resource under Week Four on our Moodle page and…

Discuss how one of the readings reflects that particular theme, concern, or idea.  Use direct textual evidence in the form of quotes and paraphrases to support your response.

Some aspects of “the modern”

*Note that the following table barely scratches the surface of Modernism’s complexity.  Like all attempts at empirical categorization, the list is limited.  However, it nonetheless provides a glimpse of some prevalent aspects, themes, and moments in the Modernist era and imagination.



Rupture (historical and social)



Reclaiming historical moments + “making it new”



An increased interest in human psychology (stream-of-consciousness writing, “automatic writing,” Freud, etc)

Changing views about human sexuality, gender politics, etc.