Comparing Social Commentary in Dover Beach, Second Coming, and Church Going

Comparing Social Commentary in Dover Beach, Second Coming, and Church Going

Length: 695 words (2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Comparing Social Commentary in Dover Beach, Second Coming, and Church Going


Human society has always struggled with the conflict of faith versus technology. Faith has always been a symbol of order, and increasing technology has always been the scapegoat for "mere anarchy." When faith ebbs, technology or new scientific concepts are blamed. Technology is a convenient target because when people lose faith in the church, science is a hard-based, factual thing in which to believe. The increasing chaos in society can be blamed on the decreasing faith in religion that has been shifted to technology.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, European society was in chaos. Since no other civilizing force in which to believe was in existence, when the Roman Catholic Church made itself a organizing power, it set up a precedent that attached itself to the mind set for the next few centuries. Religious beliefs are synonymous with the "calm" and the peace that relieve life's turmoil. For a long period of time, there was no other steadying force, so "the Sea of Faith" was the sole source for easing "the turbid ebb and flow of human misery." Tradition has kept this view of religion popular.

Still, religion itself cannot hold the attention of human society forever. Eventually, as displayed in "Dover Beach," faith in religion and its structure will fade in the light of new ideas and new human inventions. Society's faith cannot always be "full" because as civilizations grow individuals become more independent. They begin to think for themselves, which causes life to become more subjective. With less imposed structure, individuals will determine that they do not subscribe to all of what their predecessors believed, and they are left "wondering what to look for." Technology often replaces religion because it is far more tangible than the concepts of organized religion that require blind faith. It is easier to believe in something touchable. In "Church Going," this attitude is examined. A wistfulness for a time when faith came easier is apparent, but there is also "an awkward reverence" for the ways of religion even if they are no longer believed.

Once people place their faith in technology rather that something spiritual, they will find that while technology is concrete, it does not provide guidance for social behavior or the human spirit as most religions do. In "The Second Coming" the world is spinning out of control.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Comparing Social Commentary in Dover Beach, Second Coming, and Church Going." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Sep 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=11282>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold Essay

- Written by Matthew Arnold around 1851 while one his honeymoon, Dover Beach is a dramatic monologue addressed to his wife, Frances Wightman, and “any woman listening to the observations of any man” (Cummings); during this time, the world had just come out of the Romantic era and was entering the era of the industrial revolution. New inventions in technology were changing the world and science such as biology and astronomy were challenging long held beliefs of the church and by the church. The church which was going through trials of its own with the Church of England splitting into the low, broad, and high churches (Unknown)....   [tags: Literary Review ]

Research Papers
1497 words (4.3 pages)

Philip Larkin's Church Going Essay

- Larkin's "Church Going": A Failed Exploration for Religious Faith Murdoch's artistic and natural beauty critique, called The Sovereignty of Good and Other Concepts, quotes Plato’s belief that "beauty is the only spiritual thing we love by instinct." Therefore, beauty is the only spiritual connection Atheist Philip Larkin seeks in a church. Larkin's poem Church Going, begins as a confessional since he mentions how he often stops at random churches, perhaps because he is searching for a place of worship that is beautiful, both naturally and artistically....   [tags: Church Going 2014]

Research Papers
1380 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Personal Note On Social Class

- Social Class I had never been to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter before being asked to volunteer at one in middle school. My 8th grade student council advisor had arranged for us to volunteer at a soup kitchen helping to clean and serve. This is when I fully realized that there were people out there much less fortunate then myself. I grew up with two parents who work, and never really wanted for anything; we lived in a modest sized home, and owned nice vehicles. We always had food in the refrigerator, and clothes on our backs; however, now I was getting acquainted with a world where people did not have enough food to eat or homes to live in....   [tags: Disability, Developmental disability]

Research Papers
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Essay about Flannery O ' Connor As A Social Science

- Flannery O’Connor was an American writer born in Savannah, Georgia on March 25, 1925. O’Connor was born to her parents, Regina Cline and Edward F. O’Connor. In 1938 O’Connor and her family moved to Milledgeville where she attended school at Peabody Laboratory School (Merriam-Webster 824). At the young age of fifteen her father Edward passed away of a disease called systematic lupus erythematosus. Although the death of her father hit O’Connor hard she pushed on and began to write. O’Connor became an editor of the Corinthian, a literary magazine at Georgia State College for Women....   [tags: Short story, Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood]

Research Papers
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Philip Larkin’s Poem Church Going Essay

- Philip Larkin’s Poem "Church Going" When it comes to religion, we can choose either to believe or not to believe. Some have faith in a supreme being, and week after week, devoutly cram into the church of their choice and recite their prayers. In contrast, there are nonbelievers. They see religion as an escape from reality-- a false hope that after living a long and difficult life, an omniscient, unconditionally loving deity will welcome them into an eternal existence. In Philip Larkin’s poem, "Church Going," the speaker is also a nonbeliever....   [tags: Philip Larkin Church Going Essays]

Research Papers
902 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Church Of The Catholic Church

- “Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent,” said Pope Francis in an intimate interview with americanmagazine.com. The Catholic Church has had a spotty history, oppression and persecution ruled ancient times and even some modern thought. Christians were persecuted, Christians and non-Christians fled to new regions, and new religions and ideologies arose....   [tags: Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Church]

Research Papers
1868 words (5.3 pages)

Church Going By Philip Larkin Essay example

- “But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone?” (Larkin 867) For most people, church can be a terrifying place. It is thought to be filled with rules, consequences, and judgment. Its doctrine can also be very confusing, although never contradicting. Some churches are merely buildings with a cross displayed outside. When a church loses its truly religious attributes, it becomes no more than a club. However, not all are bad. Churches can sometimes be the only place people find a sense of peace....   [tags: Protagonist, Character, Antagonist, Religion]

Research Papers
1679 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach

- Kate and Merle in Ferris Beach Kate's perspective and understanding of deceptive appearances is heightened by her encounter and ensuing relationship with Merle Hucks. Kate had gone to school with Merle and been his neighbor for many years, but never knew him as anything more than a bully and a Hucks. However, Kate finally meets Merle one day at Mrs. Poole's house and learns that all her judgments and fabricated perceptions of him were based on his appearance and on rumors, and they were way off target....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Free Essays
471 words (1.3 pages)

Going to the Territory Essay

- Going to the Territory Ralph Ellison’s essay “Going to the Territory” is truly a definition of American culture.  Ellison’s essay is a description of his journey from Oklahoma to Brown University and along the way he uncovers truths about the way Americans selectively acknowledge their history and ignore important aspects of their culture and let them fester into an uncontrollable problem.  Ellison had a connection to Brown University before he even made it out of grammar school.  His principal was the first colored man to graduate from Brown and Ellison received an award in memorial to Dr....   [tags: Going to the Territory Essays]

Free Essays
474 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on Thresholds in Ferris Beach

- Thresholds in Ferris Beach    Jill McCorkle's Ferris Beach is an enchanting novel that depicts the intellectual and sociological development of Kate Burns. As Kate comes of age over the course of the story, she crosses numerous thresholds, each of which has a profound impact on her unique maturation. The thresholds mark the several stages of Kate's life and stimulate her understanding of the complex world around her. Kate learns that she lives in a world of random chances and opportunities, a world where there are no guarantees, but there are infinite possibilities....   [tags: McCorkle Ferris Beach Essays]

Research Papers
2137 words (6.1 pages)

Related Searches

Technology can be developed much faster than social awareness or maturity, so when faith is lost, people are troubled for reasons that they cannot define. Without order and spiritual answers, "things fall apart," and the world seems to be a pointless, terrible place. The previous hopes for the end of the world die along with the other elements of faith. The "rough beast" shows that the world needs those elements to guide society, or the world will make a disheveled spiral to its own destruction.

"When disbelief is gone," people will begin looking desperately for something else in which to have faith. The "grating roar" that takes faith away like the sea that takes the pebbles must eventually bring it back like the returning tide. People need guidance, and while they may push it away, they desire it nonetheless. When organized religion has vanished, simply "[being] true to one another" may take its place. The churches themselves may leave society, but the desire for spiritual guidance "can never be obsolete." Those who allow it to become so will continue to live in chaos.

These three poems relate to the present millennium in that Americans have become morally bankrupt. New technological conveniences are developed daily, but many people feel lost and depressed. This sense of depression is coupled with a general feeling of disorder because Americans have let their faith lapse. Due to the impending millennium, the intensity of these feelings are increasing. People are "[clashing by night]" because their need for guidance is strong, and they are ignoring it. They cannot determine right from wrong or friend from enemy. Despite the fact that there are many religious and nonreligious answers to cling to, Americans are headed toward the new year in a chaos and panic.
Return to 123HelpMe.com