Dover Beach Essay Analysis

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Humans can only survive the harsh world when everybody believes and trusts each other, and this will be broken with the introduction of industrialisation.

This change of the world will bring “confused alarms on struggle and flight” which creates an imagery of a “darkling plain”; a dark vision for humans.

This is used by the poet to show the stupidity of modern man throwing away the religion which was everything to people before the Industrial Revolution; something to believe and rely on when people prayed.

However, this old belief is thrown away and Arnold sees it as a very naïve decision.

The ‘sadness’ of the mankind turning away from religious beliefs is a parallel to the ‘melancholy… Before the development of science and technology, people had truly believed in the religion and thought that they were in total control of god.

The metaphor ‘Sea of Faith’ which presents the religious faith people have, used to be ‘full and round Earth’s shore’ but now is ‘retreating…This gradual process hurts Arnold because people are caught unaware of the changes taking place and so do not think it is particularly wrong and sinful.Arnold presents his sorrow with the historical allusion to Sophocles who, was a Greek playwright, had heard the sound of waves crashing as the ‘eternal note of sadness’.Explore how Matthew Arnold uses language to give us insights into the life of modern man in ‘Dover Beach’.The life of modern mankind is presented very negatively and ignorantly by Matthew Arnold in the poem by the fact that religious faith evanesce with the Industrial Revolution.As the poem proceeds, the transition of mood is noticeable as the grief of the loss of faith extends to a sense of resignation towards the end and having a sarcastic, sour approach to the issue.The ‘tremulous cadence slow’ helps to convey the gradual process of the wane of doctrine which adds to the idea that the change of people’s lives is almost unnoticeable.Arnold creates the image of the dark future for the people without unwavering faith or religion.Modern men are bastardised with the thought that new the Industrial Revolution will give them advantage over nature.down the vast edges’ which shows the decreasing religious beliefs.Arnold points out that, without faith, humans are ‘naked’ and have no protection and defence which reflects the vulnerability of man and their lives.


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