Modernism

Why everyone was secretly miserable in the 1920s

According to Modernist poet TS Eliot:

The ordered, stable and inherently meaningful world view of the nineteenth century could not, wrote T.S. Eliot, accord with ‘the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.’.. rejecting nineteenth-century optimism, [modernists] presented a profoundly pessimistic picture of a culture in disarray.”

In other words...

Everything sucks. After World War I, many people (youth specifically) became disillusioned with the budding conventions in technology, rising population, growing profound changes in transportation, architecture, and engineering; a growing sense of mass markets often made individuals feel less individual and more alienated, fragmented, and at a loss in their daily lives and worlds.

disillusionment: dis·il·lu·sion noun \ˌdis-ə-ˈlü-zhən\ Definition of DISILLUSION : the condition of being disenchanted : to free from illusion; also : to cause to lose naive faith and trust

Pre-Modern World (e.g., Romantic, Victorian Periods)

Ordered

Meaningful

Optimistic

Stable

Faith

Morality/Values

Clear Sense of Identity



Modern World (early 20th century)

Chaos

Futile

Pessimistic

Unstable

Loss of Faith

Collapse of Morality/Values

Confused Sense of Identity and Place in World




Flight of the Conchords - I'm not crying
F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great American Dreamer part 1