Form and Convention are there to be Broken
By: James Adhitthana
Conventional books usually have a problem or mystery to solve and is usually answered after completely reading the book. However back in 1942 the novel A Passage to India by E.M. Forster challenged readers to read novels differently. Divergent to conventional books which would usually write a book based on the conflict, the author took a different approach. In the book, the author decided to skip the whole conflict and instead start by writing about how the characters have to deal with the aftermath. By doing this, the reader never finds out about the truth of what actually happened in the conflict. This form of storytelling is called modernism.
Modernism questions form and questions conventional storytelling by not solving the mystery inside a story. In some ways, we like to feel completion. This is why books, movies, and other means of entertainment usually has an ending that solves and concludes a conflict or mystery. Modernism takes a different route and instead tries to focuses on subjective experience. This is why readers of the modernist novel might be left unsatisfied because the book never explicitly explains what actually happened in the conflict that caused the story of the aftermath. However, could there actually be value by not telling the truth of the conflict?
I think that by doing so the author could focus the opportunity for readers (who are curious of digging up answers) to learn more about the characters and get deeper into the characters knowledge instead. This is where subjective experience matters more and how the modernist approach allows the user to experience the character and learn more about the character more compared to traditional storylines. Another value for this approach is that the author might want to leave the truth vague for us to solve the mystery ourselves by analyzing the characters in the book. Considering how people like to solve and listen to mysteries, in the end the book itself has value just because the book has an unanswered mystery.
Therefore I think that form and convention are there to be broken and modernism is an interesting and refreshing method to storytelling. Leave a comment below and tell me about your thoughts on this topic of the day!
Word Count: 383 words (blog)