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Analysis Of Matthew Arnold's Culture And Anarchy

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Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy (1869) divulges into the concerns he has for the ‘moral and spiritual’ future of society, due to the pressures of the machines and therefore the essence of civilisation was declining. Arnold believed the ‘high cultured’ should be the ones to enforce idealism, to create “the best that has been thought and said in the world”. He saw culture as the strive to perfection and that due the popular culture rejecting this, there would be anarchy. In other words, ‘anarchy’ operates as a synonym for popular culture for Arnold. He believed that education from the elite would be the best pursuit for ‘perfection’ for the “raw and uncultivated”, because the masses wouldn’t know what’s good for them. Not only this but how mass society…show more content…
This means that culture should attempt to be the greatest and to provide knowledge to improve humankind by targeting the “inward condition of the mind and spirit” (REFERENCE). He believed that the social function of culture was to police the working class, or as he called them, the ‘Populace’, as these were the ones causing complications. He saw the habits of the working class masses to not have any worth, as they posed a threat to the stability of society and created a social disorder, due to the lack of spiritual leadership. This is why he saw education and encouragement of culture for the masses as a moral and spiritual guide, which needed to be led by an educated intelligentsia who would look after and promote high culture. This in turn would have been needed to be accessible to the masses (such as in schools) so that growth in society would be achievable. Consequentially, Arnold believed that the industrialisation; the growth of the economy and the demands of business were futile, as intellectual and emotional development had not even been
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