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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
ПИ № ФС 77 - 51217


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Rabeeakh S.K.B., "THE AMERICAN DREAM REFLECTIONS IN MODERNISM AND POSTMODERNISM". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) № 5 (47) Part 2, (2016): 48. Wed. 25. May. 2016.
Rabeeakh S. K. THE AMERICAN DREAM REFLECTIONS IN MODERNISM AND POSTMODERNISM / S. K. Rabeeakh // Mezhdunarodnyj nauchno-issledovatel'skij zhurnal. — 2016. — № 5 (47) Part 2. — С. 48—49. doi: 10.18454/IRJ.2016.47.141



Рабееах С. К. Б.

ORCID 0000-0003-3208-8433, Аспирант кафедры зарубежной литературы, Воронежский государственный университет



Стиль модернизма может быть определен чрезмерным чувством самосознания, расходящимся с традиционными стилями поэзии и прозы. Модернизм появился после Первой мировой войны. Жанр постмодернизма опирается на повествовательные методы, такие как фрагментация, парадокс и ненадежный рассказчик; этот стиль или направление появился как протест против Второй мировой войны. В статье рассматриваются модернистские и постмодернистские жанры, играющие очень важную роль в формировании американской мечты в 20-м и 21-м веках, поскольку они исследуют субъективизм, перемещающийся от внешней реальности к исследованию внутреннего состояния сознания.

Ключевые слова: модернизм, постмодернизм, американская мечта, самосознание.

Rabeeakh S.K.B.

ORCID 0000-0003-3208-8433, Postgraduate student at the department of foreign literature, Voronezh State University



Modernism style can be defined by feeling an undue awareness of oneself “self- conscious” which split up with traditional genre of poetry and prose. This style appeared after the first World War. Postmodernism genre is characterized by its relying on narrative techniques such, paradox and unreliable narrator; this style or direction appeared as a protest against the second World War. This article deals with “modern” and “postmodern” genres which play very significant role forming the American dream in throughout 20th and 21st century as they explore subjectivism that shifts from external reality to explore inner states of awareness.

Keywords: modernism, postmodernism, american dream, self-conscious.

Concerning the American dream, these two genres used to be one movement which develops the idea of American dream after two large-scale wars and protests against the old-fashioned thoughts and traditions which brought the American dream to destruction.

Beforehand American literary works were acquainted by specific literary styles depends on well-known directions of thought, contemplating the pulchritude of the American dream, the best era of American literature is well defined by getting rid of the old traditions and norms rather than imitating them [3, 4]. The speedy alterations in American life generated new genres revealing confusion, inner conflicts with many universal unanswered questions that change the beautiful picture of the American dream. It is difficult to say that both genres of “modern” and “postmodern” writers absolutely rejected the spiritual connection with God but they start to discuss materialism as an entrance to spiritualism to reach self-consciousness based on experience.
A distinguished savor of “modernism and postmodernism” is self-awareness. This will direct to procedures with form and work that draws attentiveness to the processes and materials used [1, 953]. Such directions found a fertile land for American writers to sow their seeds and grew new conceptions and recreate a new route of perception to the actuality of the world afield from “dictated dreams”. Many American writers were dissatisfied with social norms and prominence that had affected American literature, folks and art since the accouchement of the American nation. The alteration was the gauge of the time as new amelioration in technology, drastic new social theories, and two merciless wars changed the face of the world evermore so “modernism” and “postmodernism” work as one unit in literature as an alarm to wake the sleeping pates of the Americans who were absentminded and daydreamlike.

The thuggery and bloodshed of both World War I and World War II were matchless and dreadful, and these two tussles help to disintegrate all delusions of the American dream’s romanticism. Such swift, brought Americans and especially prosaists to be more skeptic and suspicious about the old institutions and foundations which lead American life for a long time. America’s artists and authors questioned the aim behind trusting the new world after all these wars and destructions. No sufficient answers can feed their curiosity and uncertainty to the horrible questions that had been raised due to the changes in progress. It was the time of precariousness, the time of consummated mystery that unites the true style of life and writers genres.

The period of “modernism” and “postmodernism” witness’s considerable upheaval fictions, prose, and poetry reflecting the challenge contra the American dream. ”modern” and “postmodern” poetry showed a deep displeasure with conventions and old norms. Poems defy readers by intentionally devastating the essentials of grammar that the English language was constructed on, submitting a new style of poetry that distribute less with circumspect themes and more with associations and dreamlike portraits to reach self-consciousness through such images to show the moral deformity of man and society . Poets of the time explore to make their poems purposely complicated reading in an endeavor to grab the reader into the work. T.S. Eliot buckles down to ancient Greek and Latin version for oracle as he aimed to grasp his very modern world around him while preserving a rapport to the classics of the past. Eliot’s most remarkable work, The Waste Land, debriefed a somber sight of the post-World War I, which had vague parlance, rich with occult hints, trying to oblige the readers to be vigorously part of the poetry approach finding the dark portions of philanthropic human nature [4].

Prose also in its role as part of life and literature experienced the change and resurgence, many novelists and short story writers were completely involved in creating newfangled methods of linkage that had propelled writers to such originative peak. The anti-heroic war anecdotes of Ernest Hemingway were both debatable and wildly praised by readers. One of well-famed prose writers of the period, he served as an ambulance driver during World War I before he began his literary writing profession. Via novels such as A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway transported many hematic battlegrounds that he had seen forthright to American readers. His novels and short stories often considered realities of war, while he juggled his straightforward, journalistic prose style to express his own dreary view of the world around him, a world outside of simple cause and effect relationships, lacking both logic and philosophy [2].

The masterworks of “modernism” and “postmodernism” writers have drastically altered the soulful image of the American dream when it comes to the wars that were viewed by numerous Americans as heroic and spirited protection to their ideals of independence and democracy. But after both wars, it became clear that wars were just bloodshed a horrible slaughter of mankind which had nothing to do with romanticism and heroism. It even killed people’s passion and sentiment for each other and sowed the seeds of disillusion, disappointment, and mistrust. They were very destructive for the dearly loved deal of the American dream. However, the mutiny of the period change was not confined to the spheres of philosophy and art. The public modulation was also vigorous power during this time, as minorities who had used to be in shed captured the changing scope to raise one’s voice and be noticed. The temperament of alteration found its way to people’s mind and heart, grateful to “modernism” and “postmodernism” movements that worked as coherent line facing and criticizing the whole destruction and deformity that vividly covered the beautiful face of people’s dreams.

Gender discrimination was a challenge which faced by female writers such as Virginia wolf and Willa Cather to fragment stereotypes of women as second-class citizens, via their masterpieces their voice was so loud through their works like Sapphira and the Slave Girl 1940. But still many writers questioned the class problem as old ruins still invade a place in modern life. John Steinbeck’s masterpieces, such as Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row, were good paradigms of exploiting peasants in California, while F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel The Great Gatsby presented the gap between social different classes. Fitzgerald’s Gatsby as a good epitome of an ordinary man who realized his dream but his dream made him dishonest and corrupted. The corruption of the society gave the chance to antihero like Gatsby to deform the beauty of the American dream.

The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger’s masterpiece, tells a horrible tale of a young boy growing up in a degenerated world (New York). Young Holden Caulfield is dismissed from school because of poor academic performance. The anti-hero-Holden Caulfield analyzes adolescent problems Holden Caulfield and his journey from childhood to adulthood, those including Holden’s protection of innocence, his disgust of the adult world, and his isolation from society. “Modern” and” postmodern” writers used anti-hero as a message to reveal the weaknesses of the society and the dying concepts were represented by the American dream.

The American writers relocate the condensation of the work from solely imitating the world in which they lived to say something about that world, likewise. This closely correlates with a new vision of the American dream as strengthening their individuality in teamwork, organizing opposition to the evil magnitude of the society, such as slavery, corruption, and humiliation.

“Modernism” and “postmodernism” furthermore responded to an epidemic sense of deprivation and stupor indoctrinate by the social and technological changes of the 20th century. Disillusionment and confusion characterized the “up-to-date Mood”. It turned out growingly explicit that many traditional ethics and social criterion had substituted seriously. This shift brought by “modern” and postmodern” writers who changed the way of people‘s interaction. Many authors who represent the line of modernism and postmodernism create in their prose and poetry variety of ways challenging the American dream and its illusion like J. D. Salinger in his work The Catcher in the Rye 1951, Ralph Ellison’s the Invisible Man 1952, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971), Thomas Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and others.
The works of all “modern” and “postmodern” style considering the possibilities for individuality questioning the reality and fakeness of the American dream in such huge society that lost his faith in ideals. The directions of “modern” and “postmodern” literature deal mostly with the ideals of the American dream and the outline to destroy the old-fashioned traditional beliefs. The faith in the American dream grasped by people in the USA that through drudgery, valor, and resoluteness one can attain a better life, usually through a pecuniary boom. The American dream has become a universal question, and some people believe it underlines material prosperity as a measure of winning and felicity.

In conclusion, this article reached a very important point that modernism and postmodernism are not different movements in literature as it is known but it is one movement which is developed according to many changes occurred in a certain period of time where the American dream underwent to the changes, so its meaning changed to mean corruption and dishonesty which shivered the real image of its beauty.


1.Gardner H., De la Croix H., G. Tansey R., Kirkpatrick D. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages //San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1991. ISBN 0-15-503770-6.p. 953.

2.Wright S. Modern American literature, Student// University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2000.

3.Childs P. Modernism//Routledge. 2008. p. 4. ISBN 0415415462.

4.URL: (access date 25.04.2016).

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