Essay on Modernism Versus Postmodernism

925 Words Nov 19th, 2012 4 Pages
Modernism vs. Postmodernism

Post-modernism follows and shares many of the same ideas as modernism. Though, at the same time, they differ in many ways. These distinctions can be seen in the two works of literature, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller and “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David Mamet. “Death of a Salesman” represents the modernist literature. Modernism is a style of literature that came about after World War I in Europe. It emerged in the United States in the late 1920s. Modernism was the response to the commotion, which occurred during World War I. The narrator in the play is limited and omniscient; he or she observes the thoughts and actions of Willy, Biff, and other central characters in the story, a type of
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He also tells him, “I offered you a job. You can make fifty dollars a week. And I won’t send you on the road” (Miller 96). There is a difference between Charlie and Willy’s well being, in that Charlie is able to provide jobs and Willy does not have a job. Modernism embraces the idea of a high culture. This is clearly evident because Willy is striving to become part of it. The idea of a low brawl is also evident, in which money is beauty. Because this play is subjective, and we see it through Willy’s eyes, money representing beauty and priority becomes a central idea throughout the play. In the play, it becomes evident that Willy does not know himself. Willy dies because of his inability to be happy and to be happy would mean he would to know himself. Death of a Salesman also has a very ambiguous ending, which is another characteristic of modernist writing. It is left for the readers to identify and interpret that Willy has died and that not many people showed up to his funeral because he was not a well-liked person, even though he said he was. “Glengarry Glen Ross” represents postmodernism literature. Postmodernism emerged during the late years of WWII and started to appear more during the mid 1980s. Instead of having a grand narrative, postmodernism has many narratives. Post-modernists ideas had a large affect on economy, politics, and the way people. These aspects can be

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