Modernism was a cultural movement deriving from the many changes and innovations that characterized the beginning of the '900. In literary, Freud's discoveries led to a psychological depth of the characters through the use of the interior monologue. A fundamental element however was the new concept of time, no more chronological and universal inner and subjective. Everything turns around the projection to the external world of the inner side of the human soul (the importance of the unconscious) and his conflict with it. The “symbolism” technique is much used and the figure of the "myth" becomes the only unified thing. Everything is seen from a relative point of view (relativity of Ensitein, Copernican revolution of Kant) and the advent of the war and all these news leads man to lose his certainties, causing suffering and mental problems. Some elements of poetry mingle with those of the novels, and vice versa, and is used a musical and an allusive language. Are taken elements from any kind of culture and religion (Europe is no longer seen as the only important country from this point of view).
Inside the poets (all users of free verses) here are many groups who share some common characteristics: there are the "Georgian Poets" (stil influenced from the Victorian age), the "War Poets" (avant-garde that dealt with the horrors of the war), the Imaginists poets (the modernist for excellence, developed during World War I), the symbolists (which were inspired form the cursed decadent French poets, focused on the importance of the unconscious and who reproduced the first feelings that an event caused), the Oxford poets (which took care of the more material aspects of life like politics and society) and the New Romantics (who claimed the importance of emotions like love, birth, death and sex ).
In prose the changes were due to the confusion of the period, which differed from the certainties of the past, raising questions about the future. All this forced the writers to focus on other aspects of the human soul and to change style (unchanged for about 200 years). The idea of a "common consciousness", the absence of a well defined temporal and spatial structure (some books tell events of daily life and are set in a single day), the use of many points of view for accentuate the concept of relativity" ... all elements that led to a psychological depth of the characters through the expression of the deepest part of their soul (the subconscious) with the interior monologue that traduces the stream of consciousness in a literary way. This happened especially with the "psychological novelists", including Conrad and Forster. The general elements of modernism are present, of course, in the "modernist novelists", as Woolf and Joyce. Finally, we have a third group of writers who are primarily interested in the social and political problems of the time.
*The unspoken language of the unconscious is represented by the Simbolism. The myth in the modernism is no longer a metaphorical depiction of natural phenomena but it’s the projection of instinct and human inner phenomena (unconscious).