Summative Entry

The tumultuous environment of the 20th Century inspired many incredible artists as they responded to the changing world around them. This semester, it has been a pleasure discovering such a breadth of expression in the work of 20th-Century writers and artists. The works we studied seemed to incite a passionate discussion in every class, as my peers revealed earnest and full-hearted reactions to the anxieties often brought up in 20th-Century literature which still equates with issues of today. As such, I believe the interests, concerns, and experiences of writers in the 20th Century assist 21st Century human beings in their understanding of the purpose of existence.

Western society in the 20th Century broke from traditional values, as revolutionary changes in technology, science, politics, social stratification and culture dissipated the dominant traditional attitudes and aestheticism. This environment had a transformative effect, with artists such as Joseph Conrad, Sigfried Sassoon, T.S Eliot, Virginia Wolf and George Orwell responding to the anxieties and experiences that were instigated by this change. What makes the works of these 20th-century artists particularly notable is the fact that they often challenged tradition and the world around them. Artists began to defy the idea that anyone could control or contain creativity, and a greater sense of self-expression began to evolve. I discuss both the role of the artist in my best critical blog post which can be viewed here , and I express the disruption of art challenging societal values in my best creative blog post which can be viewed here.

As human beings I believe we build our lives upon the experiences of the past, and as such the Artists of the 20th-Century play a vital role in the way we understand our purpose of existence today. Through creating both critical and creative blogs this semester, I often reflected on the freedom of creative expression that was available to me, which is truly a product of 20th-Century artists pushing the boundaries of human expression. I would argue that this challenge even modified our modern behaviours as we constantly create and question the world around us.


Man Ray, Glass Tears, 1932