The 1910s seem to mark a dividing line in the history of the novel. Indeed, the years following this date were characterized by an actual revolution in English literature, which some critics have later characterized under the general definition of "Modernism". the term may be misleading, since it can be applied to all the artistic movements of the early years of the century(Futurism,Imagism,ecc). As far as English ficiton is concerned, however, "Modernism"usually refers to those novelists who actually experimented with new forms and who,while focusing on the mentalprocesses that develop in the human mind,tried to explore them through what is called the "stream of consciousness" technique.
"Modernism" is a wide term used in various field(for instance in Religion, the so-called "Chatolic Modernism"); but it had the same meaning, that of a movement opposed to traditionalism. Traditional ideas and certainties were no longer passively accepted;everything was put in doubt.
Man questioned himself. Scepticism involved everything: the life of man, his fate in the world, his way of thinking. And, since this new anxious vision of the world was revealed by man's actions, it changed his way of looking at things and people, together with his language, including the arts and literary production of the time, where new ways were experimented in the search for a new, hidden reality.