Question 3: What were the major literary trends during the 20th century? Illustrate.
Ans: As a consequence of changes in industry, science, and technology, human existence in the twentieth century varied significantly from that of the nineteenth. As a result, literature began to experiment with new forms of expression and styles. Modernism and Post-Modernism are two major trends in twentieth-century philosophy and literary criticism. There was little demand for written communication such as newspapers since the people was poorly educated. At any gathering of people, sharing jokes and anecdotes was a popular form of entertainment. Because these stories were difficult to recall, rhyme was added to help the authors remember them. Later on, a consistent beat and metres were added. As a result of these transformations, Australian poetry arose. The first written poems served as a cathartic release of emotions, allowing inmates to express things they couldn’t speak publicly. They expressed their anguish in silence via poetry. Michale Massey Robinson, George Barrington, and Francis MacNamara, commonly known as Frank the Poet, are among the most well-known of these early poets. Themes of melancholy were prevalent in poetry during the period. In their pain, the inmates’ poems expressed empathy for the anguish of others. Due to a lack of paper and writing skills, the inmates were compelled to transform their poetry into songs. Bush Ballads arose from these convict origins, and they have a rich lyrical heritage. Farmers, riders, and a slew of other common folk began composing poetry. Bush songs are firmly rooted in Australian culture and history. These are authentic representations of the historical period in which those people lived. The stories are fantastic, and they cover every facet of life in Australia at the period. Henry Lawson and Andrew ‘Banjo’ Paterson were the most well-known and love poets among the greats of Australian Bush poetry.
Australia was late to connect other countries due to its geographical isolation from the rest of the globe. At the turn of the century, Australian poets began to fantasise about the country’s future and identity. The poets’ concentration on the scenery of Australia, as well as their disregard of the people and character of Australia, remained consistent. Bernard O’Dowd, W.C. Wentworth, noted for his “Australasia, an Ode,” Dorothea Mackellar, Adam Linsay Gordon, Henry Kendall, and Christopher Brennan were among the notable poets of the time. In their poetry, they all represented Australia as a nation with its own identity, not as a British colony. Wentworth predicted that Australia’s future will be as wealthy as England’s history. Captain Cook, Forby Sutherland, and Arthur Phillip, the navigators, were still honoured. In European settlers’ poetry, the Aborigines were practically never referenced. To act as a contrast to Anglo-Saxon culture, they were depicted in disparaging terms. Australia had begun to perceive itself as a country distinct from the United Kingdom and British culture. The scenery of Australia was portrayed in great detail, but the people of the country of Australia were hardly addressed.
Kenneth Slessor and R.D. Fitz Gerald’s poems ushered in modernism. The Jindyworobaks and the Angry Penguins were two literary groups that developed in Adelaide in the 1930s. The Jindiworobaks urged Australian authors to write in a language that reflected their identity as Australians, whilst the Angry Penguins wished for Australian poetry to become even more inventive and global by using surrealism and other experimental approaches. A.D. Hope and Judith Wright were considered Postwar literary titans in Australia. Poems written in the 1950s and 1960s displayed a sombre, sarcastic concern for social and moral concerns. Writing social and political satires as well as reflecting the realism tradition. Their poetry was infused with a deep social consciousness and religious connotations.
The beginning of Aboriginal poetry was a significant element of the 1960s. During this time, the rise of Aboriginal poetry drew the attention of people all around the world. In reality, Aboriginal poets use poetry to raise their own political concerns and to make the rest of the world aware of the injustices that have been perpetrated against them. “Aboriginal writing begins as a cry from the heart directed against the white man,” Mudrooroo says on the role of Aboriginal literature. It’s a call for justice and a better deal, a cry for empathy and a request to be heard. The 1960s saw the emergence of contemporary Aboriginal Australian literature. We are going, by Oodegeroo Noonuccal, “ending a period of white deafness by putting a forceful Aboriginal voice into the earshot of a wide, mainstream audience both in Australia and beyond” (Toom 24). Kevin Gilbert, Colin Johnson, Jack Davis, Graham Dixon, and Robert Walker are well-known Aboriginal Australian poets. Poets including Davis Campbell, John Blight, Bruce Dawe, Les A Murray, David Malouf, John Tranter, and Robert Gray created more experimental poems throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Fayzwicky, Roberta Sykes, and Billy Marshall dominated Australian poetry after the 1990s.
The beginning of Australian fiction, like poetry, can be linked to the release of pent-up emotions among prisoners. Because of the sluggish publication procedure in Australia, novel development was a lengthy and protracted process. The majority of the literature were brought in from England. Only 15% of the books sold in Australia were published there by 1945.
“Writing about convict life, by prisoners or ex-convicts…” was a common theme in early Australian novels. (Bird number 32) English, Irish, and Scottish prisoners made up the great majority of those sent to Australia. Many of the prisoners were thieves, while others were soldiers who had committed crimes such as mutiny, desertion, and disobedience. The inmates were assigned jobs based on their abilities, and good behaviour was the only way to secure their release. Convict labour was employed to build public infrastructure including as roads, bridges, courthouses, and hospitals throughout the colonies. Convicts worked for free settlers and small landowners as well.
After Australia established a federation of sovereign states, novelists Henry Lawson, Miles Franklin, and Joseph Furphy portrayed social realism and national identity in their works, bringing about change. Many works of literature feature Australia’s vast and arid terrain. Many authors, though, still grappled with the concept of what it meant to be Australian. The adventure and romance storey was turned into a patriotic novel after losing its manly essence. Australian residents’ concerns were depicted by novelists.
Most writers were positive about the country, its past and present, until the Great Depression in 1929. The literary tone altered in the late 1930s, and darker world perspectives were explored. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, a trilogy by Henry Handel Richardson published between 1917 and 1929, demonstrated that Australian life might be used as material for a tragic book. The work was written after WWII with the goal of examining the interaction between humans and the environment. Some Australian writers advocated for reconciliation with indigenous peoples and a deeper understanding of their relationship with the land.
Patrick White earned the first Nobel Prize for Australia in Literature in 1973. He was the author of twelve novels, eight plays, and several collections of short stories and nonfiction works. The present section of the storey begins in the year 1970. Australia was undergoing a series of political, social, and economic changes at the time, and as a result, fiction reached new heights it had never known before. Since Patrick White, Australia has produced a flood of outstanding authors. Many of them also tried out the strategies.
Helen Gamer, Jassica Anderson, Beverly Farmers, Barbara Jaffsers, Kate Granville, and Thea Ashley were notable authors in the 1970s and 1980s. In the varied and multicultural Australian culture after 1980, there is no one vision or philosophy. As a result, literature grew more varied. Feminist issues were established by female authors.