In Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach,” Arnold expresses a few of his regrets over the modernizing of his country, but in particular, he portrays regrets over the increasing detachment from nature. His poetry laments “we are here as on a darkling plain/ swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,/ where ignorant armies clash by night” (35-38). His poem suggests his cynical view that appreciation for faith and nature is a “withdrawing roar/ Retreating, to the breath/ Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear/ And naked shingles of the world” (Arnold 25-29).
His work, Culture and Anarchy, goes even further to lay out his views on modernity. In this work, he specifically attacks the rise in machine driven industry. He sees the Industrial Revolution leading the people away from the culture of “sweetness and light” towards a passionless uniformity (1596). He also fears an indoctination of the “masses” to a conformed “set of ideas and judgments” leading them away from “a sheer desire to see things as they are, natural and proper in an intelligent being” (1596).