The English novelist Virginia Woolf declared that human nature underwent a fundamental change "on or about December 1910." The statement testifies to the modern writer's fervent desire to break with the past, rejecting literary traditions that seemed outmoded and diction that seemed too genteel to suit an era of technological breakthroughs and global violence.”
Early Modernism is — as its name implies — a period of transition from earlier forms of art and literature into new explorations of language and form that challenged classic models. A new cynicism and sense of alienation tends to dominate much of the literature of this period — an embittered attitude caused in part by the heavy casualties of WWI.

Timed Writing info:

Introductory notes


Read the notes for Hemingway Code Hero: take notes as needed for Lost Generation, Style, & Hemingway Hero

Read "A Soldier's Home" annotate or take notes on Hemingway's style and the Hemingway Hero. Print or Read online.

Poem: The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner


Hemingway Hero:NPR article

Ernest Hemingway A&E video
Gertrude Stein The Lost Generation
Hemingway Home and Museum

Short Stories

The Jilting of Granny Weatherall

The Life you Save may be your own

A Worn Path

A Rose for Emily
read the notes in this ppt first for Faulkner and the tableau effect

read the notes on changing portraits (tableau) and write an analysis for your 8-10 quotes
print this document or take notes

William Faulkner mini bio video watch the video

"Ambush" p. 708


Modernist poetry often is difficult for students to analyze and understand. A primary reason students feel a bit disoriented when reading a modernist poem is that the speaker himself is uncertain about his or her own ontological bearings. Indeed, the speaker of modernist poems characteristically wrestles with the fundamental question of “self,” often feeling fragmented and alienated from the world around him. In other words, a coherent speaker with a clear sense of himself/herself is hard to find in modernist poetry, often leaving students confused and “lost.”
Such ontological feelings of fragmentation and alienation, which often led to a more pessimistic and bleak outlook on life as manifested in representative modernist poems such as T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (1917), were prompted by fundamental and far-reaching historical, social, cultural, and economic changes in the early 1900s. These changes transformed the world from one that seemed ordered and stable to one that felt futile and chaotic.

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
an online annotated Prufrock
Dramatic monologue

Questions to consider “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock “
  1. What kind of person writes a love song? Why are love songs often written?
  2. What kind of name is “J. Alfred Prufrock”? What initial opinion do we have of this speaker based on his name? What about the “J.”? The “Alfred”? The “Prufrock”? How does each element contribute to an initial understanding of this speaker?
  3. What about the quotation from Dante’s Inferno that begins the poem? How are our presuppositions about this poem affected by the fact that a) We have a quotation from the Inferno generally, and b) We have these specific words?
  4. It begins with an invitation — “Let us go.” Is the invitation accepted? If not, why? If so, where?
  5. What kind of patterns do you see in this poem? What ideas or words are repeated?
  6. How do the questions change over the course of the poem? Keep track of the questions, looking especially at the verb forms. Do you see a pattern from the opening question to the final one? What has changed?
  7. What changes about the verb forms used in the questions? What does this change of verb form suggest about Prufrock’s progress?
  8. Is this a love song? If so, about what or to whom?
  9. Where is the climax of this poem? How does the rest of the poem shape itself around the climax?
  10. Consider the major motifs in this poem: time, questions, death or stasis. What is the author (or Prufrock himself) saying ABOUT these ideas?



The Wasteland

Yale open course