“All That is Solid Melts into Air”

Updated May 12, 2022

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“All That is Solid Melts into Air” essay

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In his book “All That is Solid Melts into Air”, Marshall Berman defines modernity as a power, creating, destroying and then re-creating. Also, it can be described as any endeavor by modern humans to be subjects and objects of modernization, to understand the modern world and make themselves at home in it. REFERANS If modernism is thought as an effort to create a home in a continuously changing world, it can be realized that any style of modernism can ever be certain. To be modern is to live in a life of paradox and contradiction. Also, it can be defined by the continuous changes of all social relations, constant uncertainty that have been part of modernity.

Berman mentions that his wish is to recover the history of modernity therefore that our modern experience will be enhanced and guided into the future. He also argues both positive and negative modernity experiences of previous generations are much richer than ours. Berman defines Goethe’s Faust as the first and best tragedy of improvement. He describes Faust’s growth to a larger self through improvement but a progress which always has a dark side. This is the dialectic that modern people must embrace to live and move. Berman believes that there is an irony and tragedy in all forms of modernism and modern attempt and creativity. The pressure of modernism is to use ourselves and everyone else to force ourselves and everyone as much as possible we can go. The growth is reality of life and it comes with a cost all the time. The irresistible attraction of modernity is the sign of the improvement. Berman emphasizes that those in modernity should take a part of responsibility for the improvement.

Effects of developments which occurs as consequences of modernism are seen in every level of human life. Especially the effects of modernism in urban places that mentioned in the Baudelaire’ chapter is an important example for this. One of the important elements of Baudelaire’s poems is the boulevard that is the most spectacular urban innovation of the 19th century, and the determinative improvement in the modernization of the city. The new boulevards were one component of urban planning that contained markets, bridges, the cultural places, parks and clear the slums and to create ‘‘breathing space’’ in the city. As consequences of modernization, removed uncounted people and destroyed neighborhoods that they lived for centuries. However, it opened the whole city for the first time in its history for all occupants. The physical and social transformations that drove the poor out of sight now bring them back directly into everyone’s line of vision. People from every social group came together.

Moreover, the boulevards create more radiant and exciting urban life but also transform spaces to riskier and frightening for the pedestrians. This density transforms the whole modern environment into a chaos. Modernism has ensured new paths to cover up and hide the conflict. This improvement appears most clearly in urban space. The characteristic sign of 19th century urbanism was the boulevard, a tool for bringing urban space and humans together; the specific future of 20th century urbanism has been the highway, a means for splitting them. From this notion, Le Corbusier has created excessively powerful modernism style. Le Corbusier created the perception that modern man should be the street man, the man in the car. The new man needs a new type of street, that is a machine for traffic, or a factory producing traffic. The modern street must be “equipped as a factory”. Thus, the forces that urban modernization once come together distributed a new way of modernization supported by the ideology of developing modernism.

Last of all, modernity has the tendency to make all things new. Next year’s modern life will look and feel different from this year’s; still, both will be part of the same modern age. But the fact that human can’t step into the same modernity twice will make modern life especially elusive and hard to grasp. None can go back to a time before modernity. Progress and growth are our only way of knowing for sure that we are alive. Modern men and women must adjust the change: not just to be open to it, but to demand and seek it to look forward to future developments, all the while avoiding nostalgia.

“All That is Solid Melts into Air” essay

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“All That is Solid Melts into Air”. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/all-that-is-solid-melts-into-air/


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