WW I was a catastrophe that changed Western perception of politics, social behavior and also art. The world had to be reconfigured.
This age cover the works from authors born at the very end of the 19 ct. and who published their major works in the roaring 20s and then in the years of the economic depression and post-depression in the 30's and 40's.
The human being was no longer the centre of the universe (Darwin, Marx, Einstein).
It meant the beginning of the modern era in the sense that they want a break with the past (although western civilizations are based on classical traditions). It is featured by reason, progress, science, faster changes and, in short, moves.
On the other hand, the modern landscape was anything but ruins, also the mind was in this situation: misery, spiritual poverty and intellectual chaos, as most of the authors were in the war.
In the US, this loss of identity gave room for the most prolific of the Ame. letters, the Ame. Golden Age. The main authors, also known as the “Lost Generation” and who are also the main authors of Ame. Literature in general, are Hemingway, Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot, Erich Maria Remarche, John Dos Pasos, W. Faulkner.
During the depression years, the outlook changed again, the works tended to present a pessimist vision. The American Dream had failed, above all for the immigrants who had put all their hopes in the promised land. There were a sense of shame and fear of everything. --> Dark image of the Ame. Dream.
But it also meant a renewal of the progressive impulses and radical views. The political implication was bigger (author usually related to the left).
Revival of naturalism and urban and documentary realism (Anderson, Dos Passos).
Also in these years, American drama attained international status, with the works of Eugene O'Neill, who won four Pulitzer Prizes and the Nobel Prize. In the middle of the 20th century, American drama was dominated by the work of playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, as well as by the maturation of the American musical.