A Modernist Examination of the Good Anna and the Great Gatsby

1644 Words Dec 24th, 2012 7 Pages
A Modernist Examination of The Good Anna and The Great Gatsby Modernism is a movement characterized by the re-examination of literary styles, structures, content, and even human existence thought to be standard prior to 1900. The movement was all about looking at things in a new light, and trying to break the mold so long held by society as the norm. This movement took place in art, music, architecture, and as I will further discuss in this paper, literature. In this paper, I will discuss the modernist movement, specifically in relation to The Good Anna by Gertrude Stein, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though modernism affected all different areas, they share the same common theme, which is, ironically, almost no theme. The …show more content…
This modernism characteristic is evidenced very clearly in The Good Anna (Three Lives, 1909). The story is told in a very untraditional fashion, without the long-established linear narrative and progression of characters over the course of the story. Instead, the story shows Anna through many different perspectives including that of the women she works for, other women in her life, and her pets. Firstly, we come to know Anna through the perspective of the women that employ her. We see common characteristics in them; “Anna found her place with large, abundant women, for such were always lazy, careless or all helpless, and so the burden of their lives could fall on Anna, and give her just content.” Through this statement we see that Anna always works for similar women because she likes the control it gives her. She likes being able to control the women and she likes the predictability that the women provide, including the characters we meet such as Miss Mary Wadsmith and Miss Mathilda. Similarly, Anna enjoys this same exertion of control with the way she handles her pets. She is kind to her pets, but she also is very firm and holds a disciplinarian attitude with them. She treats the pets as the children she never had, and gives special preference to Old Baby, whom “was an old, blind terrier that Anna had loved for many years.” (12) She is so fiercely loyal and protective of Old Baby, that she even goes so far as to give him a

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