Modernism is the philological tend that aroseduring the late 19th century and the early 20th century.Modernism is focused on the decomposition and the isolation of a specificindividual instead of the growth and progress that individual had made in orderto express life through its modern ways. Through “Mad Men” and The Wasteland,modernist themes are very evident throughout both pieces. “Mad Men” and TheWasteland used common themes of tedium and fester to help present the ideas ofmodernism more thoroughly. Through “Mad Men”, the story beings afterthe Korean War, around 1960. “Mad Men” also was written in the way of theAmerican culture, which is a different perspective than that of The Wasteland.
Fester and tedium are presented throughout the show. The theme of tedium,commonly known as the feeling of lack of energy or excitement about something,was presented through character’s deaths. The characters viewed death through amodernist perspective, as an everyday event and had no real emotion behind it.They believed that with every one death then came another and as those deathsbegan to increase, their deaths were slowly approaching. The modernism idea ofisolation was presented during deaths, as the men would grieve in bars tryingto isolate themselves from the public. Their ideas of how to grieve alsorevealed the theme of festering, as the man would drink their problems away atthe bar and allow their problems to fester. In The Wasteland by T.
S Eliot, the storyis written in the upcoming of the First World War. Therefore, the perspectiveand views are must different than that of a perspective once the war was over.”Mad Men” was written through an American culture view, which differ from TheWasteland as it is written through an English culture perspective. The theme oftedium was shown through the feelings of uncertainty and being lost.
“Whatshall we do tomorrow? / What shall we ever do?” (Eliot, 133-134). The constantuncertainty of how they should be living their everyday lives and what theyshould do to pass time. The theme of fester was shown through the repeatedconversations of destruction. “I will show you no fear in a hand full of dust”(Eliot, 30). The dust represents the dryness and lack of water in which theyhave access too. The lack of water in any individual’s life is a common resultof death, which festering is meant by.
. Although Modernismis the main theme throughout both pieces of work, “Mad Men” and The Wasteland,some individuals may argue that the main theme may possibly be about existentialism.Existentialism is the trend in philosophy where the individual emphasizes theirchoice and freedom. The idea also emphasizes the feeling that there is nopurpose or explanation of the existence. Through “Mad Men”, it was shown significantlythat the men did not care for, nor worry about death as they viewed death as anormal occurrence and knew their deaths’ would come. The perspective of thesemen, show the perspective of an individual that views reactions as anexistentialism philosopher would. Through The Wasteland, the constant feelingof uncertainty is also one of the personal perspective emphasized throughoutexistentialism literature. As the idea of no purpose or explanation is neededin order to live one’s life.
Both pieces can be influenced on the developmentof existentialism but both pieces contain modernist themes. Modernism is meant by the way in whichmodernism focuses on the isolation of an individual rather than the way thatindividual is growing through life. Every individual is presented with a pathin which they should follow through life, but the modernist perspective is howthat individual can express life breaking through of the classical/traditionalways.
“Mad Man” and The Wasteland both presented consistent evidence ofmodernist themes throughout both pieces. As “Mad Man” and The Wasteland bothfocused mainly of the two themes of tedium and fester. Works CitedEliot, T.
S. The Wasteland. FQ Publishing, 2015.Eliot, T. S.
The Wasteland. FQ Publishing, 2015.Kuiper, Kathleen. “Modernism.” EncyclopediaBritannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.
, 2 Jan. 2018,www.britannica.com/art/Modernism-art.Mastin, Luke. “Existentialism.
” The Basics of Philosophy,2007, www.philosophybasics.com/movements_existentialism.html.Taylor, Alan and Phil Abraham, directors.
Mad Men.Universal Pictures, 2007.