Culture and anarchy analysis

Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration. I had first read the book way back when I was at university. Back then, I read the book with the purpose of finding arguments for and against differ But what is greatness?

Culture and anarchy analysis

An Essay in Political and Social Criticism See also Matthew Arnold Criticism. Culture and Anarchy is a controversial philosophical work written by the celebrated Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Much more than a mere treatise on the state of education in England, Culture and Anarchy is, in the words of J.

Born the eldest son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, a headmaster of Rugby and generally acknowledged as the innovator of the modern public school system in England, Arnold was inculcated with a liberal attitude toward education from an early age.

During his formative years and as a student at Oxford, he embraced the reform-minded ideas of social thinker John Henry Newman. In his role as inspector, Arnold became intimately familiar with the disadvantages and inequalities inherent in the educational system from the favored aristocratic upper class to the ignored and impoverished lower class.

Moreover, in his official capacity Arnold toured numerous schools and universities on the Continent which had already undergone extensive educational reforms. His comparative experiences at home and abroad yielded such essays as The Popular Education of France, with Notices of That of Holland and SwitzerlandA French Eton, or Middle-Class Education and the Stateand Schools and Universities on the Continentall of which influenced the ideas which found expression in Culture and Anarchy.

Despite his best efforts to influence Parliament to initiate sweeping educational reform, it was not until Arnold appealed to the altruistic intellectual members of the English middle class with Culture and Anarchy that he began to gain a groundswell of support for his cause.

Plot and Major Characters Although Arnold does not create specific fictional characters to express his ideas in Culture and Anarchy, he does infuse his essays with a narrative persona that can best be described as a Socratic figure. This sagacious mentor serves as a thematic link between each of the chapters, underscoring the importance of self-knowledge in order to fully engage the concept of pursuing human perfection.

This mentor also identifies and classifies three groups of people who comprise contemporary English society. The first group is the Barbarians, or the aristocratic segment of society who are so involved with their archaic traditions and gluttony that they have lost touch with the rest of society for which they were once responsible.

The third group is the Populace, or the disenfranchised, poverty-stricken lower class who have been let down by the negligent Barbarians and greedy Philistines. For Arnold, the Populace represents the most malleable, and the most deserving, social class to be elevated out of anarchy through the pursuit of culture.

Culture involves an active personal quest to forsake egocentricity, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness and to embrace an equally balanced development of all human talents in the pursuit of flawlessness.

This lack of purpose manifests itself in such social and religious defects as laissez faire commercialism and puritanical hypocrisy.

For Arnold, the myopic emphasis on egocentric self-assertion has a devastating impact on providing for the needs of the community; indeed, it can only lead to a future of increased anarchy as the rapidly evolving modern democracy secures the enfranchisement of the middle and lower classes without instilling in them the need for culture.

Hebraism represents the actions of people who are either ignorant or resistant to the idea of culture. Hebraists subscribe to a strict, narrow-minded method of moral conduct and self-control which does not allow them to visualize a utopian future of belonging to an enlightened community.

Culture and anarchy analysis

Conversely, Hellenism signifies the open-minded, spontaneous exploration of classical ideas and their application to contemporary society. Indeed, Arnold believes that the ideals promulgated by such philosophers as Plato and Socrates can help resolve the moral and ethical problems resulting from the bitter conflict between society, politics, and religion in Victorian England.

Through irony, satire, and urbane humor, the author deftly entertains his readers with examples of educational travesties, he wittily exposes the enemies of reform and culture, and he beguiles his readers with self-deprecating humor in order to endear them to his ideas.

Critical Reception Since its publication inliterary scholars have generally regarded Culture and Anarchy as a masterpiece of social criticism. While it is true that Arnold wrote his essay in response to specific Victorian issues, commentators have since examined the work for its relevance to universal ethical questions and social issues in subsequent generations.

Several twentieth-century critics have analyzed how Arnold employed the device of social criticism to advocate his particular brand of humanism. Surveying the critical controversy surrounding Culture and Anarchy, Linda Ray Pratt has suggested that it stems from misunderstanding Arnold.Culture and Anarchy is in some ways Arnold’s most central work.

It is an expansion of his earlier attacks, in “The Function of Criticism” and “Heinrich Heine,” upon the smugness, philistinism, and mammon worship of Victorian England.

Aug 28,  · The first book edition of Culture and Anarchy came out in The first chapter of the work was originally entitled, "Culture and its Enemies," and was his last lecture as Professor of Poetry at Oxford in June ; in July, this lecture was published in Cornhill Magazine.

Nov 17,  · Culture and Anarchy is a series of periodical essays by Matthew Arnold, first published in Cornhill Magazine and collected as a book in The preface was added in . In Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold sought a center of authority by which the anarchy caused by the troubled passage of the Reform Bill of might be regulated.

At its best, his style is. Mr.. D. Gresham Culture and Anarchy Analysis In this short snippet from Culture and Anarchy Matthew Arnold tries to explain total perfection in society and ones self. Arnold explains that in order to strive for total perfection the person must first recognize the problem at hand.

The person must realize that taking action and changing. Arnolds "Culture and Anarchy" has as many lessons for the reader of as it had for the reader in 's. Arnold cuts society into three classes. Barbarians, the ruling elite, Philistines, the middle class trying to ape the elite, and the masses/5.

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Introduction Gresham Culture and Anarchy Analysis In this short snippet from Culture and Anarchy Matthew Arnold tries to explain total perfection in society and ones self.
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