Characteristics Of Modernism

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Modernism in Selected Works Modernism is expressed in many works. Some characteristics of modernist works include that they begin almost randomly, continue and end spontaneously, use lots of symbols instead of clearer statements, it may be considered difficult to read, and it is commonly fragmented structurally as well as literally. These work thus require lots of effort in the part of the reader. I hope to discuss how the characteristics of modernism appear in works such as in Edwin Arlington Robinson’s poem “Miniver Cheevy,” in Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” and in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “I Think I Should Have Loved You Presently.” Robinson’s “Miniver Cheevy” is special as modernist poems go. Unlike most modernist poems this poem actually uses rhyme.
Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
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Even though “Minister Cheevy” does not exhibit modernism at first glance, it shows modernism after a more thorough look. Robinson writes, “He wept that he was ever born,/And he had reasons./Miniver loved the days of old.” This startling shift from the subject of life to the past is part of the fragmented style of modernist literature which shifts between subjects without much of a transition if any at all. The tone of the poem also changes in a modernist way going from sadness to love very abruptly. This startling shift of subject is exhibited again in the following

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