Modernism was a movement that occurred in the late nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth century. It contrasted with the movement of neoclassicism from the eighteenth century. The latter strongly emphasized order, reason, the following of convention and optimism about human nature. Modernism did the opposite.

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) wrote several works in which he expressed very modernistic ideas: chaos, disorder, the passions, irrationality and aggressiveness.

Another theme found in modernism, particularly in Friedrich Nietzsche’s works, was a dismissal of the Christian code of morality. Nietzsche believed that people should make their own morality code to follow.

The modernistic disorder can also be found in science. Isaac Newton in the eighteenth century had said that the universe followed orderly laws. In 1913, Niels Bohr found that the electrons did not abide by Newton’s laws of motion. Therefore, he and many other scientists of that era concluded that the universe was not orderly. Continue reading