Modernism and Impressionism in the Good Soldier and Parade's End by Ford Term Paper

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Modernism stresses the need for freedom of expression, experimentation, radicalism and primitivism. It rejects the old traditions and modernizes the thinking. It is the re-examination of every aspect of existence with the goal of finding that which was holding back progress and replacing it with new and therefore better ways of reaching the same end. The Good Soldier by Ford if examined will be able to distinguish the significance of avoiding the necessity to make the world as it ought to be, and rather focus on the significance of accepting the world as it is. The argument throughout is that modernism possesses more than one face. Whilst on the other hand Impressionism refers to literature, which reveals the inner feelings and psychological agony of a person regarding some incident, happened in the past. It can mainly be explained as when a writer focuses his story on the character's psychological life such as the character's impressions, feelings, ambiance and emotions, more willingly than elucidating them. The Good Soldier is one of the well-known examples of English literary impressionism by Ford Madox. The Good Soldier (1915) is a story about the momentary, personal, and apprehensively guarded interiority of the bourgeois psychological subject. We can define it as a tale of objects. In order to protect the borders of a psychological core against the quick urban rush of mobility, narrator John Dowell illogically works to create a sense of psychic and sequential veracity in and through identification with objects, specifically objects of exchange in a world of contingent international finance capital. The question of the impressionist narrator's reliability points to Dowell's nervous emotional expression of the anxiety involving expansion and reification, a tension must clear in the material objects of exchange. As such, the novel puts forward the complication of material culture and modern impressionist psychology. The story revolves around four main characters. It opens with John Dowell (the narrator), who is unfolding his relationship with his wife, Florence (both Americans). The other two characters of the story are Edward and Leonora Ashburnham. After the suicidal of Florence and Edward, Dowell starts writing about the events about the nine years the couples used up touring the Europe and staying there. As we go through the written work of Dowell, we slowly but surely come to know about Florence's unfaithfulness, first with a young man of the lower classes and afterward with Edward. Dowell eventually discovered his wife's (Florence's) dishonesty; Florence didn't have any emotional understanding with Dowell, she wasn't loyal at all and she tried to get away from him. She needed privacy to meet other guys and often used to spend nights with other men. When the truth was revealed and she was caught red-handed with an unknown person, Florence came to know about Edward's new affair and she committed suicide.

The novel brings about the two-facedness of the upper-class 'game' of sexual faithlessness has been uncovered. Edward and Florence committed suicide as an outcome; Nancy faced mental illness. Dowell didn't describe any distress, pain, displeasure or discontentment. He tried to tell his story and to share his bitter experience of life. In 'The Good Soldier' Ford portrayed the deepest thoughts, possibly secret motivations as characters relate to each other. He is not a sociable novelist, but a challenging one.

The novel follows two tracks: the unbridled and generous tourism of the Dowells and Ashburnhams and the overemotional base of confidentiality, disloyalty, and sexual exposure. Both the tracks of the story lead towards the impressionistic nature of the writer. In the beginning the story circles the sensational impression of the narrator and his wife and in the second half of the story, the writer narrates, how the disloyalty of his wife and his friend discouraged his faith on people around him. It is clearly a symbol of impressionism in literature. The story consists of all the expressions, including love, anger, anxiety, hatred and betrayal.

In order to understand one's fictional -- and actual -- surroundings, one must practice the things happening to others (perhaps this is the reason that Dowell requires to go back to places and parts of his story in the Good Soldier -- his unawareness saves him from affliction.

While talking about modernism, the opening chapter tells about the notion of fragmentation in modernism whilst the later chapters the notion of personal account and war writing. The character Dowell is laudable of Orwell's praise as he accepts the world around him as it is. Dowell admitted and accepted the world's unsteadiness and ambiguity. Thus, the Good Soldier is successful in embracing the changes of the world, even the failure of the cultural or the struggle for value in an ever more convoluted actuality. Dowell (narrator) has a youthful belief in the outlook and in the customary system. Because of the outlook of Ashburnham's he thinks they are good people and hence he is mistaken when he comes to know that the appearance doesn't really matter. This novel elaborates the effort of Dowell to make logic of a world that is anarchic and ethically muddled. In order to attain the actuality of Dowell's perplexity, Ford uses modernist innovations in the book. The storyline is dislocated, without any order of series and is pervaded with deep explanation from Dowell. Ford tries to represent true-life thoughts which therefore make the narrator's tale to be unpredictable. The Good Soldier rejects all the customary societal traditions and literary forms and thus is a novel which brought a change in the form of literature.

It accepts the capability that Bradbury so rightly praises, specifically, the capability to watch the world exposed of its order, without having to face the disorientation of doubt. Ford with the help of Dowell accomplished the same thing which modernism has done for its readers i.e. The freedom to experience the always changing world without abandoning actuality or relief.

Ford raised up the topics of adultery, treachery and ethical perplexity which at those times were not discussed openly in the civil world. Yet his great style of storytelling protected him from the criticism of immoral acts as discussed in his novel. The novel "The Good Soldier" is an important step towards the modern literature as it doesn't merely consist of the life with an aim to get married. It reveals the problems and conditions which might arise after marriage. It conveyed an idea to keep an eye on the upcoming difficulties and to think not only about yourself but also about the desires and wishes of your life partner. it's a best move towards the modernism and the reason of its fame is its different content. Modernism emphasizes on the liberty of expression, prejudice, discrimination and primitivism. It discards the old civilization and gives a new way to the thinking.

Modernism and Impressionism in "The Parade's End" by Ford

Ford's another classic effort is his novel "The Parade's End." The flow of awareness makes it complicated to comprehend. It is a combination of many emotions, responses, reactions, attitudes and opinions, which are defined in such a modernized way that the reader gets fascinated by the wordings and the way of capturing the scenes.

The novel is rewarding for the delicacy and profundity of its portrayal. The reason of its fame is its distinctive standpoint on the 1st world war, a standpoint which alarms prominently and catches the whole attention of the reader. The Parade's End is indisputably an impressive book pertaining to the World war; it modified the society and demolished it forever. This novel gave a new way to the stagnant progress of literature. Madox Ford stands among those marvelous English writers who are able to capture fundamental nature of England and convey their message convincingly, leaving an impact on reader's mind.

The Parade's End consists of four parts (i.e. Some Do Not..., No More Parades, a Man Could Stand Up and the Last Post). Christopher Tietjens was chosen to be the central character of the story, a traditional land-owner, strong built physically and a mastermind mentally. In the first part they tell us that Christopher Tietjens was going through a lot of marital, emotional, political and ethical distress. He had differences with his wife, Sylvia, a character whom one can hate to extent. Sylvia is not faithful with Tietjens and he is also betrayed by his very own friends. The writer also describes the growing feelings of Christopher towards Valentine Wannop (another main character) and even his friends think that Valentine and Christopher have an affair which is not true. In the second part of Some Do Not..., shell-shock lead to the defeat of both his extremely good memory and the assuasive system with which he had sighted and thoroughly structured his environment. In the third part (a Man Could Stand Up) Tietjen is not in a situation to stand up because of the shellshock worsened by the cure set to him by his terrible wife Sylvia. In it the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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