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The Changes in Western Century Introspection: Fiction and Visual Arts - Essay Example

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The paper describes the revelation of harsh reality by the 20th-century conflict that has brought despair to the Western countries, but it has also aroused their courage and unity so as to bring about necessary changes in the society. These changes comprise equal rights and freedom…
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The Changes in Western Century Introspection: Fiction and Visual Arts
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Download file to see previous pages The war has brought forth famous novelists such as Ernest Hemingway and Erich Maria Remarque. Hemingway’s novel conveys the desperate hope that World War I would be the war that ends all wars. Thus, its tenets are bound to disillusionment and are proofs of the futility of armed combat, (51). Another novelist expressed the same sentiments over the war. Erich Maria Remarque’s book All Quiet On The Western Front “portrays with horrifying clarity the brutal realities of trench warfare and poison gas, two of the most chilling features of the war”. It was during the 20th century that totalitarianism also blossomed, particularly in Soviet Union under Stalin’s leadership. “Until Stalin’s death in 1953, a reign of terror prevailed in the Soviet Union. As many found out, the slightest deviation from orthodox Marxist-Stalinist decorum resulted in imprisonment, slave labour, or execution. Between 1929 and 1953 some 18 million people were sent to prison camps and another six million were exiled to remote parts of Soviet Union”, (64). Totalitarianism wasn’t only observed in Soviet Union, as countries in Europe also ha d a piece of the iron rule of Hitler. Like Stalin, Hitler wielded unlimited and often ruthless authority. He destroyed democratic institutions in Germany, condemned avant-garde art, modern architecture, atonal music and jazz as ‘degenerate’, attacked Einstein theories as ‘Jewish physics’ and proceeded died to eliminate-by means of Gestapo (the Nazi secret police) – all opposition to his program of mass conformity”,(64). The most horrifying of these episodes of torture by was the Holocaust wherein 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews were put to death in Nazi gas chambers.
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