Sample Essay

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941), a famous modernist writer is known for her essays and novels for females. A Room of One’s Own is her most recognizable work written in 1928.  “A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay, based on Woolf’s lectures at a women’s college at Cambridge University in 1928.” (Lavender)  In this particular essay, Woolf focuses on the women and their place and role in the society, what is expected of them, why is it that way and what should females do? Woolf in this essay wonders what would it take for women to become writers of highest caliber, she writes that, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is going to write.” (Lavender) This essay asks questions about the traditional way of living of women in a modernist way and challenges to the society to change.

Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955), the famous German-speaking writer wrote the book “Death in Venice” in 1912. The book is based on married man leaving Venice who falls in love with a younger boy and later dies. “Critics assert that the story skillfully combines psychological realism and mythological symbolism to create a multidimensional story that explores the moral transformation of an artist in quest for perfect beauty”. (Enotes).  It can be associated with modernist writing as it voices the relationship between a man and a younger boy in a style, which combines mythology with reality.

James Joyce (1882- 1941) wrote ‘The Dead’ in 1907, the last story in a collection of 14 short stories by the name of “The Dubliners”. The characters are based in Ireland and the author is trying to provide his readers with the history of Ireland. This story is based on a man’s feeling when his wife tells him about her affair with a man, she had in her youth. However, the author leaves it to the imagination of his reader to ponder and decide what kind of change the declaration bought in the character. This is the main point in his writing style where Joyce can be called modernist as he challenges his readers to think beyond and decide for themselves.

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