College Honors Program

Date of Creation


Document Type


First Advisor

Prof. Susan Elizabeth Sweeney


During the early twentieth century the literary modernists reacted to a changing world by pioneering new literary forms that could depict the subjective experience of thought. Their new forms eschewed tradition, convention, and narrative and experimented with literary techniques that could depict the mind in an expanded moment of time.

In her modernist essay “A Diary,” Gertrude Stein reveals the similarities between diaries and her own experimental modernist literature. “A Diary,” which is both modernist literature and a diary, provides a critical lens by which to examine other diaries as modernist texts. An analysis of the diaries of Anne Frank, Virginia Woolf, and Anaïs Nin, three female writers who maintained diaries in the twentieth century, reveals that their diaries also contain elements unique to modernist literature.


Reader: Prof. Leah Cohen

Departmental Honors thesis for English