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Liberal Theme in Matthew Arnolds and Marjane Satrapis Poetry

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Arnold’s poem appears to indicate his belief that if people ignore the faith as a result of the material prosperity that will come with technological advancement, the result will be vulnerability and uncertainty in the life of modern man. This is expressed through the skilled use of anaphora, and onomatopoeia. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis also addresses issues that were being experienced at a time when Iran was in the throes of violent change. Satrapi narrates about different incidences that she experienced while she was still a child living in Iran. Moreover, unlike Arnold, Satrapi’s main complaint appears to be about the way people were mistreated as a result of their social class. While Arnold felt that the disregard of religion would result in the slow destruction of his society, Satrapi felt that the new ways of perceiving various social classes would negatively impact Iran. Marjane’s grandmother and parents are portrayed as being very liberal, in contrast to the rest of the Iranian citizens living in that era. When they chose to support the Iranian revolution, they did so because they believed that the revolution only sought to usher the nation into more advancement. When this did not take place, the family was deeply disappointed. In the poem Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold utilized the sea to signify the time when his fellow English citizens had great and unshakeable faith in God. According to the poet, this faith was protected citizens from feelings of doubt and despondency, just as the sea wraps itself around the borders of the world. as is indicated in the stanza the sea of faith/ was once, too, at the full capacity, and surrounded the earth’s shore…but now there is a sea of the doubt (Arnold, 2105). Materialism and the discoveries of science have now begun to challenge the tenets of religion, and human desolation makes the entire world feel like a place that is abandoned. From Arnold’s poem, it is evident that people started to trust in their material things, thus removing from their souls the certainty that could only be fostered by religion. With the dearth of trust brought about by faith, Arnold states that only darkness was left behind. Understanding the historical context of Arnold’s poem during the Victorian era when the Industrial Revolution was in full swing helps in understanding better his sentiments. When he wrote Dover Beach in 1851, Arnold feared that many people who were once strong adherents of the Christian faith were changing their focus to the demands of growing industry. In his poem, Arnold tries to address what he feels is the main issue of contention. He worries that ‘faith is fading as it is being continuously battered by the new waves of science and materialism (Arnold, 2105). At the start of the poem, Arnold speaks about the calmness of life, The sea is tranquil tonight/ The tide is full, and the moon lies fair – just as on any other night (Arnold, 2105).