Modernist literature was known for its focus on the inner self and consciousness. It contrasted with the previously popular Romantic period of writing, which took a much less inward focus and dwelled on nature and existence. Modernist literature was largely concerned with the degree to which civilization was declining.
Modernist literature arose in the 1910s and lasted until the 1960s. It was largely a result of increased globalization and industrialization within Western culture. These aspects of society raised concerns about the future of humanity since they were intertwined with two World Wars. The world seemed a colder and more dangerous place, inspiring writing that reflected this societal attitude.