Modernism refers to a college of thought that was developed late in the 19th century and prolonged up to the beginning of the 20th century. Postmodernism is a concept that used to be advanced after the Second World War. Many think that postmodernism concepts took over modernism concepts. My argument is that this is now not true. Although the two theories are different, we are always trying to negotiate between their concepts.
First, the modernism era used to be characterized by literature, art, music, and the applied arts. The postmodernism generation was marked by technology developments and the use of media. We live in an era where the two ideas work together. Elegance and simplicity are two characteristics that characterized art in the postmodern and modernity era. Creating remarkable art requires the use of one’s imagination whether you live in the modern or postmodern period. The field of art has implemented several technological advancements from the postmodernism era. Artists use the available technology today to deliver their music or paintings to us. They blend modernism and postmodernism concepts.
A closer analysis at industrialization and the development of intellectual thinking will prove that we are still in a modernism era. Modernism was characterized by industrialization and enlightenment. Postmodernism theories will tell us that we have surpassed the modern era. This is not actually true. The world is yet to fully transform into an industrialized base. There is still a capacity to develop more industries. Industrialization is defined as transforming an agricultural economy to one that relies on manufacturing of goods. Some economies in the world are yet to be fully industrialized. Man’s intellectual ability has no limit for full development. Therefore industrialization and enlightenment are still taking place.
According to modernism, there is much we can learn from the past. The present benefits a lot from the past. Postmodernism argues that there is no relationship between the past and the present. These two concepts are what people use in decision making. We are aware of things in the past that have the capacity to influence the present. We also have events in the past that cannot have an influence on the present. Modernists believe that our history is important as there is much we can learn from it. We all saw the devastating effects that the world underwent after World War 1. No one would want the world to have such a war again. Postmodernism argues that the past is not relevant in the present. This is also true as some events that took place in the past cannot influence any activity today. Just because we know of the effects of World War 1 and World War 2, it doesn’t mean that the World is safe from World War 3 taking place. Thus in postmodernism, there is no chance that the present will rely on the past. The two World Wars provide a vital historic lesson. It shows that we are affected by modern and postmodern themes.
Modernism used logical and rational methods to gain knowledge. Postmodernism was based on an irrational thought process. Our actions are either based on rational or irrational thinking. This shows that we are always trying to balance modern and postmodern themes. Postmodernism is unscientific as it is based on chance and transience. Modernism bases its arguments on science and reason. For instance, if a flood occurred today, science will show that climatic conditions caused it, in line with modernism themes. Postmodernists are very political and will argue that the floods took place due to poor planning. They might say that a town had not prepared adequately and that the flood could be avoided. We will all end up following the two concepts. We will implement methods that will reduce flooding in a town, but we know that heavy rains cause a flood. This shows that we are constantly balancing between the two theories.
Modernism and postmodernism views on various social structures can be seen to crash if closely analyzed. According to postmodern views, family structures are not only weak but have become unimportant. In the modernism era, families were an important pillar of society. The rate of divorce today is higher compared to previous periods. Families have become weak, but they remain a basic unit in society. Thus we blend in a series of postmodern and modern concepts. In the past, it was unusual for people to grow up without getting married and kids but it has become a new trend. Thus the view that this is a postmodern world is a successful one (Markedbyteachers.com). This does not result in uncertainty and chaos in social structures as postmodernists would argue. People still get married and get kids, maintaining those modern world concepts are still being upheld.
Postmodernism did not take over from modernism. Modernism still exists, and the concepts of the two themes still coexist together as we have seen. We have thoughts that fit into the idea of modernism and those that fit in the concepts of postmodernism. It is, therefore, true that we are always balancing modern and postmodern themes.
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Hoffmann, Gerhard. From Modernism to Postmodernism: Concepts and Strategies of Postmodern American Fiction. Amsterdam [u.a.: Rodopi, 2005. Print.