Literary period

Published in 1961, “Life for Life” by Alan Paton uses a mix of modernist and postmodernist styles. Modernism was a literary movement that developed and flourished up to the end of World War II. Postmodernism developed afterwards, as a reaction to Modernism.

The postmodernist influence in “Life for Life” can be seen in the fact that the story is fragmented in scenes and does not follow a unified chronological timeline. Most of the other features of the short story are more representative of Modernism. For example, character development and the focus on the character’s inner thoughts are often present in modernist texts. The use of symbolism is also more frequently found in modernist literature.

Alan Paton’s works are also often described as belonging to the movement called Liberal Humanism. Liberal humanists are strong advocates of human rights and social e...

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