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Feminist Manifesto by Mina Loy is an example of modernist prose. In fact, it looks more like a speech than a narrative, so its protagonist is not explicitly presented. However, it would be true to say that in a peculiar modernist manner the authors voice is the real protagonist of the text. When addressing women with particular suggestions and appeals, the speaker implies her own views on a range of social and existential issues that women face. There are several traits that characterize her, such as, for instance, her radicalism. Thus, she states that there is no half-measure... the only method is Absolute Demolition. Furthermore, she is quite radical about the state of women and puts their options bluntly: You have the choice between Parasitism & Prostitution - or Negation. The speaker wants to destroy the current gender foundations of society.
Another interesting feature that the speaker has is self-sufficiency, which she also preaches to her female readers: Leave off looking at men to find what you are not seek within yourselves to find what you are. This statement offers a new approach towards feminism and opens broader perspectives to women because it negates competition with men. Stating that women and men should be equal does not mean that they are not the same.
Finally, the protagonist rebels against norms of morality, especially sexual morality. The measures she offers are often shocking, such as for instance unconditional surgical destruction of virginity throughout the female population at puberty. She believed that the cult of a womans purity denies her true value and makes her a hostage of her gender.
The speaker is shocking in her attitudes, however, she is sympathetic because of her intelligence and strength - she refuses to be a victim. She also raises some interesting philosophical and psychological issues, such as womens jealousy and competition for men. She states: Women must destroy in themselves the desire to be loved a controversial statement, but quite thought-provoking.
2. Randall Jarrell: "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" is a short poem, which consists of five lines but it is quite saturated with symbols and implications, and can be declared an interesting piece of modernist writing in its own right. First of all, the poem is modernist in its form and content because it breaks up with traditional meter and style. The images and symbols that are used are far from lyrical patterns of the past. They are ugly and shocking but the choice of words is unique. It is also important to state that for modernists, the concept of impersonality was quite important. This is why the voice of the speaker is not about personal story and personal expression but about larger philosophical and existential categories. It is not even a group of people with the similar fate that the speaker embodies but the poets intellectual vision of life and death, and the meaning behind them. So, it is quite unusual in a modernist way that the speaker is actually dead but he narrates his short story of being killed in a war. It is interesting that the poem starts with the birth, which is not full of light at all:
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze
These lines imply that the Creator is blind and indifferent to people, so they have to survive without his care. This idea of isolation and alienation is quite typical for modernist outlook. Even though it is not exactly like Nietzsches God is dead, there is no real hope that he will pay attention to people. 3. F. Scott Fitzgerald: "Babylon Revisited is interesting in terms of its plot structure, conflict being one of its essential parts. It is mostly focused on the main character, Charlie Wales, who returns to Paris where he used to have fun in 1920s. The conflict lies in the fact that after his wifes death, Charlie left his daughter with sister-in-law, as he had to stay in the clinic, probably not only because of stress but also addiction. So, he aims to take the girl back because he believes that he has now broken up with his not very constructive lifestyle, so his purpose is to persuade Marion, his sister in law, that he is now sober and reliable. However, complications arise because his former friends from jolly 1920s come to her house when he is there to discuss the custody. Because they still follow the same lifestyle, Marion refuses to believe that Charlie has changed. It is a blow for him because he tries hard to get rid of negative consequences that his past life had. It is obvious that the conflict is not resolved at the moment, although the character does not lose hope. He believes that he will try later and he will be successful. However, it is clear that despite his attempts to transform, he has a kind of nostalgia and insecurity, which makes him leave his address to his former friends. Yet, despite his doubts, Charlie is on the right way, even though he has to pay the price for his past sins. The conflict remains unsolved because Charlie has to live several cycles of getting his self-respect back, as well as respect and trust of other people.