Art in the Modern World

Confusion or Understanding …That All Depends
Modern art can either bring unity and coherence into a fragmented modern world by introducing something that other human institutions fail to do, or it can present tragedy and suffering in an unforgiving light, adding more confusion to the situation.Modernist writers like W.H. Auden seemed to try to uphold the idea that works of art can and should provide unity, coherence, and meaning.Yet, with the evolvement of modernism in the 1930s and 1940s, Dylan Thomas tended to present tragic situations in his poems, often giving way to more disjoint and uncertainty.As major figures in the progressive modernization of literature, both Auden and Thomas moved away from apparent objectivity, a theme once standardized by previous literary figures, and toward subjectivity.While other writers of the era conveyed modern ideas in form and style, such as William Faulkner's multiple narrators and stream-of-consciousness format displayed in The Sound and Fury, Thomas and Auden radiated modern thought through their ideas and subject matter.Both Thomas's "The Hunchback in the Park" and Auden's "Musee des Beaux Arts" send a clear message to the reader that art can exist in the modern world; however, for each poet, it exists in two entirely different manners.For Thomas, modern art moves away from plain objectivity and towards impressionism and subjectivity, often leaving the reader engrossed in confusion and disjoint.In contrast, Auden's idea of art in the modern world surfaces as an attempt to bring unity and coherence into an otherwise fragmented, suffering modern world.
It is all too common for modern literary works from the 1930s and 1940s to exude human suffering, and Thomas's "The Hunchback in the Park" is no different.Thomas opens a window into one man's world, letting the reader get a glimpse of a hunchback's daily life li…