This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Exploration Of Self In Matthew Arnold's The Buried Life

940 words - 4 pages

Exploration of Self in Matthew Arnold's The Buried Life

One of the modes of poetry theme and content was that of psychological exploration of self, as characterized by the poem "The Buried Life" by Matthew Arnold. Class structure and gender roles were vividly looked at in depth, "definitions of masculinity and femininity were earnestly contested throughout the period, with increasing sharp assaults on traditional roles..." (Longman, p. 1888). What it was to be a man (or woman) was frequently in question, and much of Victorian poetry addressed this.

Arnold felt that, "literature must directly address the moral needs of readers." (Longman, p. 2017) He felt a need to instruct and educate society to a fuller understanding of its democratic goals. "The Buried Life" can be seen as man's struggle against society's forced class and gender roles.

The poem speaks with an "I" point of view, something that was new for the Victorian era, yet which became an increasing mode throughout poetry. We know not who the "I" is in this poem, and I would doubt that it reflects the author himself.

The character of this poem, right from the beginning feels a sadness that comes from the inner struggle between what society depicts as "should" and what a person really feels, "I feel a nameless sadness o'er me roll,/ yes, yes, we know that we can jest,/ we know we, we know that we can smile!/ But there's a something in this breast/ to which thy light words bring no rest." (3-7) There is the beginning sense here that he is starting to see conflict within himself, first characterized by his emotions.

In the second stanza of the poem, nearly all the lines reflect the characters feeling of powerlessness to put a voice to this inner struggle, to be able to call forth the words to express his feelings without being deemed ridiculous or shunned by society, "Alas! is even love too weak/ to unlock the heart, and let it speak?" (12-13) and "Their thoughts, for fear that if revealed/ they would by other men be met/ with blank indifference, or with blame reproved." (17-19) He notes that even though men cannot voice their thoughts and emotions, that "the same heart bets in every human breast!" (23)

The conflict between man and society's ideology is seen further, "Ah! well for us, if even we/ even for a moment, can get free/ our heart, and hour our lips unchained/ for that which seals them hath been deep-ordained!" (26-29) Deep ordained here connotatively means that with society has deemed acceptable, which may not often coincide with what is really felt. Along these lines of social repression of true self unless in acceptable manner, that society felt a person should be molded into an acceptable framework, "And well-nigh change his own identity/ that it might keep from his capricious play/ his genuine...

Find Another Essay On Exploration of Self in Matthew Arnold's The Buried Life

The Buried City of Pompei Essay

788 words - 4 pages time”. The tragic eruption of Pompeii has changed our culture and how we live life in this time period. Pompeii left a great fingerprint on human culture because of its well-known mountain, its eruption, and its astounding burial and preservation. What really is Pompeii though? One person might think that it is just a town that got buried by a volcano, but there is more to the story than just that. Pompeii, the city said to be frozen in time, is a

The Life and Writings of James Matthew Barrie

2411 words - 10 pages . In the former Barrie extends his attitude to the nature of an artist’s responsibility. He takes the ironic occurrence of self-knowledge reached between fantasies and makes it a positive goal. The artist is not just clearly distinguishing between reality and fantasy, but making it possible for people to move between the two.” (Hunter) Overall, the irony ties the storyline together because if the characters knew their life would be different if

The Life of Walt Whitman: An Exploration in the Poet's Spirituality and Works.

2612 words - 10 pages Many a student has decried various types of poetry for its form and structure while enjoying the free verse works of poets such as T. S. Elliot and Robert Frost. Students, however, frequently neglect the Civil War era poet Walt Whitman who is, to this day, considered the Father of free verse. While Whitman did not invent free verse, he secured its role in the American psyche. Even with his accomplishments, Whitman's life was not without trials

Commentary on the Book of Matthew in the Bible

1374 words - 6 pages Book Review: The Book of Matthew in the Bible With the Bible being the number one best-selling book worldly each year, chances are that at one point of your life or another you have at least heard of the name Jesus Christ, but have you ever wondered who exactly is this man called Jesus Christ and why is he so significant to so many people around the world? I have had the privilege to be raised in gospel since a very young age and still to this

Buried in the Bitter Waters by Eliot Jaspin

762 words - 3 pages Response Paper One: Buried in the Bitter Waters by Eliot Jaspin Of course I do not consider myself to be a racist, or a bigot, but I am aware of socially conditioned stereotypes and prejudices that reside within. That awareness, and the ability to think for myself, has allowed me to approach issues with clarity of mind and curiousness at the social interactions of various movements. Buried in the Bitter Waters, by Elliot Jaspin, has

Analysis of the Gospel of Matthew

2378 words - 10 pages This book review was done on the Gospel according to Matthew, which came from the Holy Bible- the New Testament. The author of this book was the Apostle Matthew. The subject of the book is outlined in the first verse. The gospel of Matthew is "the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matt 1:1). The format of this book was written in linear format, chronicling the life of Jesus from birth to Resurrection

The Parables in Matthew Chapter Thirteen

1736 words - 7 pages The Parables in Matthew Chapter Thirteen The Parable of the Sower is one of seven parables in Matthew, chapter thirteen that was from familiar ideas and sources, and natural to men. (Broadus, 285) It was normal to see a farmer sowing grain in Galilee. The "truth" is this parable was designed to teach. The varied types of soil are the emphasis in this parable, rather than that of "the sowing of the seed ("word," v.19) of the kingdom

The Age of Exploration

1084 words - 4 pages The desire to explore the unknown has been a driving force in human history since the dawn of time. From the earliest documented accounts, ancient civilizations have explored the world around them. Early adventures were motivated by religious beliefs, a desire for conquest, the need for trade, and an unsatisfying hunger for gold. The great Age of Exploration, beginning in the late 1400s, was an important era in the discovery and development of

Observing on the Gospel of Matthew

2262 words - 9 pages his second coming in glory (24: 1-51). n. Three parables about judgment day (25: 1-46). o. Jesus was betrayed, tried, to be teased, denied, crucified, and buried (26: 1-27: 66). p. Jesus raised from the dead, he is seen by his disciples and his companions (28: 1-10). q. the commandments Jesus gives final before returning to God in heaven (28: 11-20). The traits and the author Events in the life of Jesus who became ' News ' or ' good news

The Age of Exploration

771 words - 4 pages The Age of Exploration clearly changed the world forever. The discovery of “The New World”, along with priceless trade routes has greatly impacted the world till this day. The men who are responsible for these magnificent discoveries certainly deserve much credit, but are they really the heroes we make them out to be? Although it does not completely diminish their notoriety, many of the individuals who were responsible for these discoveries had

The Age of Exploration

1405 words - 6 pages enslavement, conquest, exploration and colonization soon followed and expanded in the Caribbean. The first colonization occurred along the Caribbean coasts on the islands of Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Cuba with the first conquest made by the Spanish and the Portuguese . During this time, sovereignty and power were the drive factors for many nations. As a result, they relied heavily on colonization which involved the enlargement of dominance over

Similar Essays

Comparison Of Poems Dover Beach And The Buried Life And By Matthew Arnold

933 words - 4 pages Matthew Arnold uses diction and imagery to produce the themes of alienation and self discovery in the poems: "Dover Beach" and "The Buried Life." “Dover Beach” talks about a man's attitude toward life. Arnold uses diction to show his feelings and inner most thoughts. In “Dover Beach” he claims “the sea is calm tonight, the tide is full, the moon lies fair upon the straits.” These lines show a sense of clarification until he claims he has lost

The Life Of Matthew Essay

1010 words - 5 pages Matthew who was also named Levi was a tax collector. It is uncertain if Jesus gave him the name Matthew or if he changed it himself. His name Mathew is the shortened version of Mattathias meaning, “the gift of God”. He was a 1st-century Galilean. He supposed to be born in Galilee, which was not part of Judea or the Roman Judaea province. He was the son of Alpheus. His occupation before encountering a life changing moment with the Lord was

Exploration Of The Matthew Shepard Event

1696 words - 7 pages Exploration Of The Matthew Shepard Event The human body is an object in which one lives and the medium through which one experiences oneself and the world. Claims on ideology and space are ultimately vested in the human body, and thus conflicts about belief systems and territory are often contested violently on physical bodies. Gay bodies become entangled in violence when they enter into arenas that combat certain ideas. Gay bashing

Discuss The Exploration Of The Self In Robinson Crusoe

1841 words - 7 pages 'In all the time of my solitary life, I never felt so earnest, so strong a desire after the society of my fellow-creatures, or so deep a regret at the want of it.' (Robinson Crusoe). Use this quotation as a starting point for the exploration of the self in Robinson CrusoeSelf is broadly defined as the essential qualities that make a person distinct from all others. In Defoe's words the word, "governs the whole world; the present Race of Men all