Classic vs Modern Literature: the Issue of Pretense


When it comes to reading, people always read what they are more interested in. Whether modern or classic, literature is the forefront to gain knowledge. Its wide scope allows you to delve into the categories of epics, ballads, hymns and more.

Both modern and contemporary literature are two overlapping things. Where a lot of people must be in favor of reading modern literature, there are a lot of people who stand for classic literature too.

To know more about it, let’s get an overview of modern and classic literature


Modern literature refers to the modernist period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was the period where literature was more written, explained and spoken. It was parted to give to the essence of both prose and verse. Modern authors are more experimenting where they take the risk to create something new and trendy. Their work is not limited to revolution or love but they have discussed more the surrounding, future, art, matter, love, sorrow and a lot of things. They try to influence people with their work and creativity. It’s also about making people understand others and how to keep up with society.


The period of classic literature was focused on inner self and perception where the stream of consciousness was the only thing that you can find in the author’s work. You can find revolutionary figures like Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, and Friedrich Nietzsche who wrote much about the world war and its circumstances. Their work is more related to wars, urbanization, and revolution to influence people. Because writing was the only thing to explain the on-going situation, that’s why it was conveyed in a very conversational way. The characters they used were strong and more dramatic to explain the plot. Furthermore, most of the scholars of the classic literature period used their poetry to sketch their thought.


In both classic and modern literature, the writing style is quite distinct. Where one includes more urban and influential topics, the other one is related to the people and their lifestyle. The classic and modern literature is deliberately broken into the sub-categories that are the Britain Literature, American literature, post-colonial literature, and Latin literature.

Britain’s literature is more formal and advanced whereas American literature is pretty causal. You can even see the difference as its prose and verses where the writers talk more with an aim. The modern learning as compared to the classic one is explainable and includes writing whereas the contemporary literature was majorly verbal.


The issue of pretense between modern and classic literature has been there for so long. Modern literature or modernist literature is loved and appreciated by the youth. Because of the direct intellectual, it’s easier for people to understand.

The classic literature is more influential which requires deep research and understanding to know what’s happening. According to most of the writers, the only difference between these two is the gap of centuries. However, some writers believe that modern literature is based on the foundation of classic literature which makes it more impactful. The issue of pretense was raised when people claimed that modern or modernist literature tries to be influential though it’s not.

Here is what makes you read classical literature:

  • When you say that modern literature is based on classics then it means that it holds a pivotal role in shaping the way we read books. The artistic use of words and poetry makes it more readable and understandable.
  • Classic literature is full of knowledge and history where you get to read more than just dialogues. Even some of the classics include prominence and shining examples of that time. If you begin to read it, you’ll see how impressive it is. Not just for the adults but it has content that can inspire and motivate youth and tends especially.
  • You can find books related to creative rebellions and dissents of that time. In case you are not a history person than you can simply go for more subtle content that might include fruity, or oaky elements that’ll add fun to your reading taste.
  • Reading the classics helps you identify writers that contributed to setting up the foundation of literature. When you begin reading it, you’ll unpack depths that you didn’t know were even there. English Literature classes is full of fun, emotional and surprising. You can either get too hyper or stay focused on what you’re reading. It has that effect to influence people with its right choice of descriptive words.


From a vast category, you can choose whatever you like and go for it. From different writing styles, the theme to the subject, it has so much for you to explore. Also, to learn more about English Literature concepts.

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