Post-Modern Period (1939-Present)

The literary trends of the modern era began to change after 1939 when World War II destroyed social values. After 1939, a new trend emerged in English literature. Writers of the era continued to experiment with modernist writers but at the same time reacted against many ideas embedded in modernist literature. Moreover, these authors continued to change their theory of art. As a result, it has become difficult to specify the exact characteristics of postmodern literature. It is believed that the post-modern era is not yet over.

Essential facts that influenced the literature of this period are:

  • The United Nations is formed.
  • Enlightenment principles have disappeared.
  • Western belief in perfection and purity of knowledge ends.
  • Most of the colonies became independent.
  • Universities became the source of philosophical and literary theories.
  • Christian faith has lost its grip on life and society.
  • Belief in human welfare has declined.
  • Globalization and information technology have overgrown.
  • There has been a boom in publishing technology.
  • The Cold War and its end profoundly impacted world politics.
  • Radio and TV have played an essential role in shaping life.

Major Writers of the Period and Their Major Works:

  • George Orwell (1903-50): His real name is Eric Arthur Blair.

Animal Farm (1945)

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

  • Graham Greene (1904-91):

The Heart of the Matter (1948)

The End of the Affair (1951)

  • Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (1905-1980):

He was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, and political activist. He was one of the exponents of the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology.

Nausea (1938)

Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology (1943)

No Exit (1944)

The Roads to Freedom (1949)

  • Samuel Beckett (1906-89), a French dramatist:

Waiting for Godot (1952)

Endgame (1955)

Happy Days (1661)

  • William Gerald Golding, a novelist:

Lord of the Flies (1954)

The Scorpion God (1971)

  • Arthur Asher Miller (1915-2005):

Death of a Salesman (1949)

After the Fall (1964)

The Price (1968)

  • Saul Bellow (1915-2005):

The Adventures of Augie March (1953)

Seize the Day (1956)

  • Doris May Lessing (1919-2013):

The Grass Is Singing (1950)

The Golden Notebook (1962)

Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)

The Good Terrorist (1985)

  • John James Osborne (1929-94):

Look Back in Anger (1956)

Epitaph for George Dillon (1957)

The Entertainer (1957)

  • Ted Hughes (1930-1998):

The Hawk in the Rain (1957)

Crow ((1970)

  • Harold Pinter (1930-2008):

The Birthday Party (1958)

The Care Taker (1960)

The Homecoming (1965)

  • Chinua Achebe (1930-2013): His full name is Albert Chinualumogu Achebe.

Things Fall Apart (1958)

No Longer at Ease (1960)

Arrow of God (1964)

A Man of the People (1966)

  • Toni Morrison (1931…):

The Bluest Eye (1970)

Beloved (1987)

  • Sylvia Plath (1932-63):

The Colossus (1960)

Crossing the Water (1971)

  • Wole Soyinka (1934…):

The Lion and the Jewel (1959)

The Interpreters (1965)

Idanre and Other Poems (1967)

  • Ahmed Salman Rushdie (1947…):

Midnight’s Children (1981))

Shame (1983)

The Satanic Verses (1988)

Major literary features of the era:

  • Literary voices come from all over the world.
  • “Angry youth” has been a recurring theme over the years.
  • Social reality has dominated creativity for decades.
  • Science fiction and thrillers became more popular after the 1950s.
  • Postmodern drama deals with the absurdity of human existence and reveals the “nothingness” or “meaninglessness” of human effort.
  • Literary criticism has become theoretical.
  • Mass media has become an integral part of literary dissemination.
  • Forms and techniques often change throughout the period.
  • Mixed media, text fragments, and collage came into practice.
  • A large number of post-colonial texts appeared.
  • Awareness of cultural appropriation increases.
  • Gender issues find a strong voice.
  • The language of the elite is absent.
Ruhul Huda
Ruhul Huda

You can call me Mr. Huda. I am a researcher and doing this work for years. I like to learn everywhere. So, feel free to share your experience with me.

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