Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold does not seem to be very enthusiastic about technological progression.  To him, the new, modern, world is confusing and possibly intimidating.  In “Dover Beach,” he laments the diminishing “Sea of Faith” (1562), and can hear its “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” (1562). The confusion he goes on to mention in “Culture and Anarchy” may also be related to this loss of faith, hinting that people may be wondering what they should believe in.

In “Culture and Anarchy,” Arnold seems to feel as though new machinery goes against the natural order of things when he says, “This contravention of the natural order has produced, as such contravention always must produce, a certain confusion and false movement, of which we are now beginning to feel, in almost every direction, the inconvenience” (1601).  He feels as though everything is falling to confusion, and goes on to suggest: “We can only get [order and authority] by going back upon the actual instincts and forces which rule our life…” (1601)


2 thoughts on “Matthew Arnold

  1. This is a good beginning to a discussion, but what are the instincts and forces that Arnold is trying to promote, and how would they help to alleviate the confusion of modernity to which you refer?

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