Death in the Woods Historical Context

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When Anderson wrote "Death in the Woods," the modernist literary movement was raging; many American writers took up explicitly modern themes— such as the disenfranchisement of the middle-class during the Industrial Revolution and effect of technological change on human existence—to explore the distinctive experiences, mores, and sensibilities of the early twentieth century.

Anderson is unique because his writing style is decidedly modern—his pared-down style is often compared to that of modernist giants Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway—but his subject matter is not. To the contrary, Anderson's stories appear to take place in something of a historical vacuum. While many modernists gathered in and wrote about the world's cosmopolitan cities—Paris, London, New York—Anderson wrote about life in the American Midwest.

"Death in the Woods" takes place in a Midwestern town, likely based on Anderson's childhood home of Clyde, Ohio. In...

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This section contains 595 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Death in the Woods Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Death in the Woods from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.