Loss Of Faith And Anti-Modernism In Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach

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Matthew Arnold, a part-time poet and full-time school inspector, altered the traditional form of poetry within the Victorian era by reflecting on the ruminations of past experiences while modernizing his works in an elegiac manner. Arnold’s poems, especially “Dover Beach,” explores themes regarding to the loss of faith and anti-modernization while Arnold himself implements his philosophy on these issues. Due to his straight-forward reflections on contemporary social problems of his time, Arnold’s work enables him to be a bridge between the Romantic and Modern period. Despite his emphasis on themes like religious skepticism that are prevalent in the Victorian era, Matthew Arnold revolutionizes his literary period with his contribution to modern …show more content…
Critic Dr. Linda Pratt of the University of Nebraska praises Arnold’s constant change in rhythm in creatively demonstrating his efforts to correlate the poem's form with his opinion of anti-modernism. As the speaker describes the flinging pebbles on the cliffs of Dover Beach, the gradual loosening of the iambic rhythm creates a sense of chaos within the format of the poem, reflecting the chaos that is evident within the world of scientific discoveries. Critic and journalist Frederic Harrison similarly observe Arnold’s use of nature and his changes in rhythm to convey a deeper meaning. While the speaker often refers to the “Sea of Faith” in line 21 of the poem, Arnold emphasizes the weakening of religious faith in comparison to the dominant rise of scientific theories, where humans are not able to perceive the consequences of losing morality. Nevertheless, Arnold's “Dover Beach” is one of the many poems that epitomizes Arnold’s focus on the influence of modernization in the corruption of human society in addition to expressing his themes through an emphasis on naturalistic

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