Modernism Modernism is focused on the decomposition and the

   Modernism is the philological tend that arose
during the late 19th century and the early 20th century.
Modernism is focused on the decomposition and the isolation of a specific
individual instead of the growth and progress that individual had made in order
to express life through its modern ways. Through “Mad Men” and The Wasteland,
modernist themes are very evident throughout both pieces. “Mad Men” and The
Wasteland used common themes of tedium and fester to help present the ideas of
modernism more thoroughly.



      Through “Mad Men”, the story beings after
the Korean War, around 1960. “Mad Men” also was written in the way of the
American 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 a
modernist 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 deaths
began to increase, their deaths were slowly approaching. The modernism idea of
isolation was presented during deaths, as the men would grieve in bars trying
to isolate themselves from the public. Their ideas of how to grieve also
revealed the theme of festering, as the man would drink their problems away at
the bar and allow their problems to fester.

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       In The Wasteland by T.S Eliot, the story
is written in the upcoming of the First World War. Therefore, the perspective
and 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 The
Wasteland as it is written through an English culture perspective. The theme of
tedium was shown through the feelings of uncertainty and being lost. “What
shall we do tomorrow? / What shall we ever do?” (Eliot, 133-134). The constant
uncertainty of how they should be living their everyday lives and what they
should do to pass time. The theme of fester was shown through the repeated
conversations 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 they
have access too. The lack of water in any individual’s life is a common result
of death, which festering is meant by.



…… Although Modernism
is 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 their
choice and freedom. The idea also emphasizes the feeling that there is no
purpose or explanation of the existence. Through “Mad Men”, it was shown significantly
that the men did not care for, nor worry about death as they viewed death as a
normal occurrence and knew their deaths’ would come. The perspective of these
men, show the perspective of an individual that views reactions as an
existentialism philosopher would. Through The Wasteland, the constant feeling
of uncertainty is also one of the personal perspective emphasized throughout
existentialism literature. As the idea of no purpose or explanation is needed
in order to live one’s life. Both pieces can be influenced on the development
of existentialism but both pieces contain modernist themes.



       Modernism is meant by the way in which
modernism focuses on the isolation of an individual rather than the way that
individual is growing through life. Every individual is presented with a path
in which they should follow through life, but the modernist perspective is how
that individual can express life breaking through of the classical/traditional
ways. “Mad Man” and The Wasteland both presented consistent evidence of
modernist themes throughout both pieces. As “Mad Man” and The Wasteland both
focused mainly of the two themes of tedium and fester.


Works Cited

Eliot, T. S. The Wasteland. FQ Publishing, 2015.

Eliot, T. S. The Wasteland. FQ Publishing, 2015.

Kuiper, Kathleen. “Modernism.” Encyclopedia
Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2 Jan. 2018,

Mastin, Luke. “Existentialism.” The Basics of Philosophy,

Taylor, Alan and Phil Abraham, directors. Mad Men.
Universal Pictures, 2007.