Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy Though often presented as a paen to apolitical cultural values, Culture and Anarchy was motivated in part by Arnold's distaste for working-class agitation for the vote. In July Reform League demonstrators seeking the extension of the franchise had attempted to enter Hyde Park, but when turned back conducted a peaceful protest rally at the Agricultural Hall at Islington, with J. Mill as the main speaker.
His theory defines culture in idealist terms, as something to strive for, and in this it helped to shape twentieth-century thinking about the value of the humanities in higher education.
Tylor, who proposed the descriptive theory of culture adopted by the emerging discipline of anthropology at about the same time. Download this page in PDF format Figure 1: Photograph of Matthew Arnold In Culture and Anarchy, Matthew Arnold articulated a theory of culture that continues to influence thinking about the value of the humanities in higher education.
He defined culture in idealist terms, as something to strive for, and in this respect his theory differs from its anthropological counterpart.
This second usage was also a Victorian invention, spelled out around the same time in Edward B. Each redefines culture from a term limited to individuals to one that encompasses society as a whole.
In doing so, each has difficulty actually defining culture, while being considerably better at explaining what is not culture. The two are thus more alike than not, representing different approaches to the same problem, rather than two unrelated uses of the terms culture see Stocking.
It did Mathew arnold culture and anarchy start out that way. Culture and Anarchy was original in contesting precisely this elitist view of culture as connoisseurship, or an appreciation of the fine arts. This was the current sense of the word when Arnold began writing.
The word culture originated in the world of farming, as a term for tending crops or animals, which is where we get the word agriculture Williams From this, it developed a metaphorical meaning in the eighteenth century for culturing the mind, rather than crops.
And in this latter sense it became associated by the early nineteenth century with a knowledge of Greek, Latin, and the fine arts. Instead, he argues, culture is a combination of broad intellectual interests with the goal of social improvement. Rather than a means to differentiate the elite from the mass, Arnoldian culture assumes the elite and the mass have a shared humanity.
He was the son of a famous educator, Thomas Arnoldwho insisted that, whatever goals one pursued in life, they had to be socially useful. As a dedicated poet in his early adulthood, Arnold grappled with the problem of reconciling his love of fine art with the need for social utility, a topic that formed the mainstay of his written correspondence with his closest friend, the poet Arthur Hugh Clough In this regard, Arnold was representative of an era in which many artists questioned the relevance of art to society, even as Victorian Britain underwent a radical social transformation, leaving behind its agricultural past in the wake of the new industrial economy.
In the middle decades of the century, Britain was particularly turbulent, famously unsettled by the inhumanity of early industrialism and the demands of a vocal working-class for political representation.
In one of the most well known incidents, on 23 Julya large crowd gathered at Hyde Park in London to hear speakers on voting rights.
They were confronted by police when the government declared the meeting an illegal assembly. Soldiers were called out whenpeople entered the park anyway, knocking down fences meant to keep them out. While staunchly opposing violence, he nevertheless understood the need for social change.
The injection of social change into his new theory was the formula he sought to combine his own love of fine art with social utility. His ideas were predicated as a solution to the problem represented by the Hyde Park Incident, which he believed demonstrated the need for greater social unity to counter the danger of a divided society.
He described Britain as suffering from the conflicting interests of three different classes of people, and he gave each a new name meant to describe its predominant trait.
To Arnold, its discontent represented the greatest threat of all to British social stability, and he used the Hyde Park incident to illustrate this. But the central problem was that all three groups viewed the world differently because the perception of each was limited to its own self interest.
Barbarians want higher prices for the grain that grows on their land to increase their wealth. But the Populace want lower prices for the loaf of bread made from that grain. And the Philistine factory owners fear having to increase wages to workers who could no longer afford a loaf of bread.
Without that mutuality, society was hopelessly locked in civil conflict. Where did their detachment come from? Many are born with this propensity, but education and other forms of social acceptance are needed to bring it out. Increasing the number of aliens in society was a central concern of Culture and Anarchy, which also argued that the State should restructure education with this goal in mind.
If class conflicts divided society in the present, they were not the only cause of civil fractures. Changes in social values over time divided it as well, and these contributed to the present state of anarchy. Arnold described social history as alternating between two poles, epitomized by the two cultures of Western classical antiquity as Victorians understood them.
In Romean interest in efficiency, practicality, and orthodoxy dominated, and thus the Romans were brilliant builders and had a disciplined military. In classical Greece, innovation and interests in creativity and beauty predominated, and so Greek sculpture and philosophy were their primary strengths.
At present, he argued, Britain is predominantly Hebraic, meaning that it values business and practicality more than art or beauty; similarly, he thought people adhered to social conventions and religious laws rather than valuing spontaneity and novelty.
Historically, this pattern began in the period following the Renaissance, he claimed, when Britain was dominated by the Puritans, and their values continued to define British society in the nineteenth century.
Society needs a strong dose of Hellenism, and so Arnoldian culture favored originality in thought, creativity in art, and experimentation in science, all without regard for practical outcomes.Matthew Arnold’s “Culture and Anarchy” is in the public domain; this is the complete e-text.
This book on Amazon This page has been created by Philipp Lenssen. 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. Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold. In order to deliver a sufficient analysis, there will be a chapter on the author first, to get an impression of how to understand the utterances.
This includes a brief summary of the most important texts that were published by Matthew Arnold before Culture and Anarchy. Matthew Arnold (24 December – 15 April ) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools.
He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial timberdesignmag.comw Arnold has .
Reviews, essays, books and the arts: the leading international weekly for literary culture. Matthew Arnold's famous series of essays, which were first published in book form under the title Culture and Anarchy in , debate important questions about the nature of culture and society.
Arnold seeks to find out what culture really is, what good it can do, and if it is really necessary.