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Imperialism, WWI, and Modernism - Coursework Example

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IMPERIALISM Imperialism, WWI, and Modernism Word Count: 750 Part One: Drawing on examples from Spielvogel, Eliot, and Conrad, explore how the attitude toward the individual became a much more negative concept in the early 20th century. What sense of the individual is present in these texts?…
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Imperialism, WWI, and Modernism

As such, it was important at that time that the U.S. did not willingly get involved in any types of skirmishes overseas. The attitude toward the individual in the World War I era was the preceding boondoggle that would eventually cast a pall over the country as the Great Depression later set in. Conrad’s story reflects this pessimism. According to Conrad (2006), “Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns—and even convictions” (pgh. 4). Conrad mentions that he is “tolerant,” but not accepting—which is an even higher form of tolerance that moves beyond just allowing someone or something to exist without deference for the person or thing itself. T.S. Eliot’s poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock takes an even more pessimistic view on life. Obviously he feels the problems that come with getting old, and sounds like a whiny elderly man. He talks about how he’s losing his hair, and how he wants to walk upon the beach, eat a peach, and basically do whatever he wants. However, he feels that he is being constrained by the social duties placed upon him in life. According to Eliot (1917), “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” (line 51). ...
All three of these writers basically make clear that the World War I era was full of people whose personalities were somewhat diluted because of the fact that people were trying to maintain societal images, while all the time inside themselves, people were wanting to act out and do things their own way. The early 20th century was a time when mobility changed from horse and buggy to the car. The new stressors that came with modern life fully affected people, and life began to go at a faster pace, yet still peoples’ minds slowed down as they tried desperately to maintain social order and good social graces in the face of WWI. Imperialism and the development of colonies all over the world by various European countries compounded this depressive attitude. Modernism in literature definitely mimicked this attitude well, as can be seen from the literature surveyed here. Part Two: Does this more depressed view of humanity and the individual continue to the present? Use your own experiences to help answer this question. (280 words) This more depressed view of humanity continues to haunt us in present-day America. People are very upset with the fact that there are two wars going on overseas and our national budget is at over $10 trillion dollars—not to mention the U.S. owes a lot of that money to China. Americans are depressed because they can’t get jobs. Americans are depressed because our military budget is overreaching other forms of budgeting that would provide assistance to those Americans who are most needy. In my own experience, we live in a very depressing era because—although the world is becoming much more technologically advanced and ... Read More
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