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Social Conditions Affect Writing by Anthony Meszaros Advanced European societies cant support long wars That was thought prior to World War I The truth was that the Europeans could not support a long war unchanged The First World War left no aspect of European civilization untouched as pre-war governments were transformed to fight total war The war drastically changed Europes social conditions thus affecting the writing during this period During this time many movements shared a resolute modernist contempt for all academic styles in the arts a hatred for a boundlessness culture and a commitment to the free expression of individuals All these feelings were given an additional jolt of violence and anger by the horrors of wartime experience During the war there was a loss of illusions as described in All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque Poets like others had gone to war in 1914 believing in heroism and nobility Trench warfare hardened and embittered many Freud said this of disillusionment When I speak of disillusionment everyone will know at once what I mean One need not be a sentimentalist one may perceive the biological and psychological necessity for suffering in the economy of human life and yet condemn war both in its means and ends and long for the cessation of all wars1 British poet Wilfred Own who was killed in 1918 was transformed from a young romantic into a powerful denouncer of those who had sent young men off to war In Dulce et Decorum Est he mocked the old lie that it was good to die for ones country after giving a blood curdling description of a gassed soldier coughing out his lungs The anger of the soldier-poets was directed against those who had sent them to the war and not their enemy The war experience did not produce new art forms or styles It acted largely to make the harshest themes and the grimiest or
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