Modernity and Arnold

Matthew Arnold speaks much on the Victorian culture as embodying duty, perfection, and awareness. In Culture & Anarchy, Arnold looks at a Hellenistic culture for a model in how the Victorian culture should act. I feel that Arnold’s response to the modernity that has surfaced in the modern culture is the Hellenic motto “sweetness and light.” Men should not be one-sided, one-tracked in their thinking and in their day-to-day tasks.
The concept of Modernity in the Victorian culture is new and frightening due to it’s unknown notions. In Dover Beach, Arnold states “And we are here as on a darkling plain/Swept with confused alarms of struggle and fight,/Where ignorant armies clash by night.” I feel as though, in a sense, this exposes the feeling of those who view modernity as a disconnect with humanity


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