Notes on Culture & Anarchy • Matthew Arnold was the son of Thomas Arnold, an educational reformer and clergyman of the liberal Broad church • Most of Arnold’s social criticism asks the question: How is one to live a full and happy life in modern industrial society? • With the advent of the Victorian middle class, many of Arnold’s contemporaries wrote that the middle class was wicked. Arnold writes from an opposing view-point believe the middle class to not be wicked, but, rather, ignorant. • Arnold then believed that the future of English and American society was that of a middle class society, a world therefore dominated by a class inadequately equipped for leadership and inadequately equipped to enjoy civilized living. • Culture to Arnold: the term connotates qualities of an open-minded intellegence—a refusal to take things on authority.
Ways to Read: revisited. • Let’s closely read the nursery rhyme: • Mary had a little lamb,Its fleece was white as snow,and everywhere that Mary wentThe lamb was sure to go. • Remember: What does the text say? What is the text doing in order to convey it’s ideas? What is the overall meaning? (Restatement, description, interpretation).
Mary Had A Little Lamb • A restatement would talk about Mary and the lamb. • Mary had a lamb that followed her everywhere. • A description would talk about the story within the fairy tale. • The nursery rhyme describes a pet that followed its mistress everywhere. • The interpretation talks about meaning within the story, here the idea of innocent devotion.
Audience • Think back to your English 111 course and what you learned about Rhetoric. • Why is analyzing the audience an essential part of understanding the overall meaning of a text? • What kinds of audience are there? • Now, consider the course theme: How does analyzing the audience allow us to view a text through a particular social lens, and how does analyzing the audience show us the different power struggles within a particular society? Are any of these power struggles relevant today?
Homework • Read through the PDF, Goblin Market, and come to class Thursday prepared for discussion.