The Definition of Modernity in The Good Soldier

in Ford Madox Ford’s The Good Soldier
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Discussion of Ford’s most famous novel has tended to focus on technique and the depiction of the characters’ psychology rather than on the novel’s larger historical and contemporary themes. The Good Soldier is extraordinary, however, precisely in its detailed anatomy of the principal features of modernity, and its analysis of how these features are related. Beginning with Dowell’s professed ignorance of the meaning of the story he tells, Ford shows how the narrator’s incomprehension is shared by the other characters and how it reflects a general modern sense of fragmentation and formlessness.

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