February 15, 2018
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This whole paragraph really spoke to humans expectations of what something divine is. I feel as if this paragraph is suggesting that humans are searching for the “Ideal World” when it is up to us in our mind to decide what the ideal is. Mankind had never reached anything of this unrealistic ideal, but by being “in this poor, miserable, hampered, despicable Actual…is thy Ideal”. This kind of springboards the idea that humans do not need to live a life that is guided by doctrines in the Bible but perhaps by living with Nature and getting right with one’s own soul. The ideal world won’t come without cultivation of Nature and the soul.
Notice here the heavy emphasis on evolution and growth–applied specifically to the life of an individual but in ways that mirror the emanative character of the universe, as construed through a romantic lense. The references to “nebulous envelopment” and “mad fermentation” evoke the seemingly chaotic phenomenon of an unsteady world in constant flux–an “aimless Discontinuity”. But the final clause makes clear the emanative growth of things plays out with a purpose. Professor Diogenes Teufelsdrock’s name is significant: “God’s Born, Devil’s Dung.” The point is to transcend, or more accurately, transform the material into the spiritual–to redeem it, including oneself.
The opening of this paragraph struck me as one that we do not normally think expand upon, in that we use the term fore-shadowing to even in relation to the possibility of positive things even though it has a built in negative connotation. So the use of the term fore-splendor makes for such a more logical and stream lined definition. This is even more prevalent in the search for Truth. The almost prophetic search for how when can begin to see Truths.
I agree that the human mind is what creates the “Ideal World” being spoken of. Going back to the “Centre of Indifference”, Carlyle seems to think that the divine comes from what humanity’s minds make of it, not what they are told by any doctrine.
This was an interesting approach to be the reader of a reader taking in this philosophical work. But it gave me a wonderful feeling of love and hope at the end. Calling upon the idea almost of “half create”, and how the light that we see with, and our eyes are part of what makes the beauty of this Earth. The Earth is so beautiful and we should live each day to it’s very best and create life for ourselves.
The idea of the past being tied to books here is something so undeniably human. We are the only species on earth, the only species we’re aware of, that keeps track of their history, and writes it down for reflection, or entertainment, or for whatever reason any one has ever picked up a book. But Carlyle does more than just reflect on the entirely human experience that is the book–because the same can the argued for the city, or the field, as he mentions here–he also shows us that books, more than anything else any of us leave behind, are protected and even worshiped as the crux of our society. Everything else fades, or crumbles, or rusts, but the written word is forever. That’s why he says, “Thou who art able to write a book […] envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner” because Carlyle’s arguing that he who writes a book will outlast them all.
In the final sentence of this paragraph we read, ” wherefrom the fiercer it is, the clearer product will one day evolve itself?” Carlyle describes humanity’s struggle to evolve. In fact evolution is always occurring but each individual is blinded to this by their concept of time. One tends to feel stagnant, trapped by the monotonous feeling of counting hours and days. The final question emulates a madness produced by this cyclical kind of thought and puts forth the idea that evolution may very well be an effect of a fierce aversion to the constraints of time and determination to produce a feeling of evolution within the time each individual has. This brings about the question, does the man made concept of time help us to become greater or hinder our ability to act completely of our own accord. Many during this period of time and still today become entangled in the idea of a beginning and ending wherein a goal can be accomplished in a certain time set. In reality something greater may be achieved with no clearly defined stopping point only a desire to keep building upon ourselves. Evolution may very well become a byproduct of the effort one puts into life.
In paragraph 4 emphasis is placed on the idea that within our hopes lies the true feeling of purpose. The earlier and following paragraphs display how the professor has lost hopefulness and has therefor fallen into desolation because without hope there is no feeling of purpose.
Paragraph 5 continues to express the professor’s aimlessness developed after a long length of time in which the things he found gave him hope and purpose did not turn out as expected or did not give him the satisfaction he expected.
There are two phrases that stand out to me in this: train-oil breath and petitionary growl. I have no idea why, but the first thing that came to my mind is world weariness. Carlyle is excellently descriptive about this Hyperborean Bear, this Russian Smuggler. Carlyle is trying to explain to him that he is absolutely not interested and who can blame him? It’s only after he shows the Russian his pistols that the Russian backs off. An everlasting no? If the pistols hadn’t dissuaded him, Carlyle might have been involved in a Duel, which is not something he wanted.
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April 23, 2018 at 9:52 pm
See in context
February 27, 2018 at 2:42 pm
February 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm
February 27, 2018 at 2:22 pm
February 27, 2018 at 11:51 am
February 27, 2018 at 11:13 am
February 26, 2018 at 11:33 pm
February 26, 2018 at 11:08 pm
February 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm
February 26, 2018 at 9:27 pm
April 27, 2018 at 2:08 pm
This poem emphasizes the cyclical qualities of life. This stanza acknowledges the transition from the innocence of youth into a complicated older society. It demonstrates how happiness and youth are fleeting. In the previous stanza we are told about a carefree old man. He demonstrates how in our old age we might return to the same wonderous joy of youth. Although the elderly might posess this same happy disposition, the still carry wisdom and pain with the memories of a complicated life. Many reminisce about the simplicity of being a young girl or boy where everything is exciting and new. It takes a realist perspective where, “The sun does descend,/And our sports have an end.” This poem demonstrates how neither happiness nor sorrow are permanent afflictions. The cycle continues with no true end in sight.
April 27, 2018 at 1:58 pm
In the final stanza we see that, while the narrator doesn’t truly move to the Lake Isle of Innisfree, he takes the isle with him in his thoughts, memory, and temperament. He is expressing how he will take refuge in his memory of the isle in order to live amongst society while embracing a feeling of peace and connection with nature. Even, “While [he stands] on the roadway, or on the pavements grey”, he is able to connect with the Isle in his , “deep heart’s core” and in his soul. This is a form of escapism, while he still allows himself to be somewhat entrapped by a materialistic society. He gives in to most social conventions while holding on to romantic ideals.
April 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm
This poem reminds me of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. The narrator desires to escape from society by living alone in nature. This is likely in response to an increasingly industrialized society. He glorifies nature and it’s peaceful qualities by describing the Lake of Innisfree with a natural supernaturalist perspective. This sort of ideal is expressed often throughout the arts and can be described as a romantic perspective.
April 26, 2018 at 1:51 pm
The final stanza in Dover beach is provoking in that Arnold speaks to lover about a dark and unhappy world. His is a realists perspective, likely in light of a declining faith in humanity and religion. This is a time, “Where ignorant armies clash by night”. In the dawn of industrialization conflict seems prevalent as society becomes materialistic. At this time society was fighting unaware over materialistic, and capitalistic reasons. Arnold has lost faith in humanity and struggles to move past, “The eternal note of sadness”. His is a romantic perspective where he looks at war, materialism, industrialization, and capitalism, as a true decline in humanity with no end in sight.
April 24, 2018 at 11:45 am
This poem exemplifies the transcendent ideals of writers in this period. “I’m happiest when most away” followed by, “I can bear my soul from its home of clay” suggests that the author finds happiness in spirit. She desires a freedom that comes with escaping the physical world before her. The, “home of clay” she speaks of is likely her physical body. In some religions a deity creates humans with clay. This poem is likely demonstrating escapism where the author would enjoy escaping reality if only in spirit. This is likely a response to industrialization which tends to strengthen attachment to the physical/material aspects of society.
April 24, 2018 at 12:13 am
Yes, definitely hearing your lover tell you they love you while meaning it is beautiful to the soul. Sometimes, though, feeling it is more important. The passionate intensity throughout the whole poem shows that she does need to hear it more than feel it. It soothes the soul to hear your lover telling you how they love you.
April 24, 2018 at 12:02 am
The forbidden fruit is indeed strong throughout the whole of the poem, I wholeheartedly agree. It seems that Laura is full of curiosity, but is that on the whole wrong? I think Lizzie’s warnings are what made Laura curious; a lot like the parent telling the teenager not to do something which in tern makes the teenager even MORE inclined to do it.
April 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm
This whole poem brings to mind an ending, as in a changing of the season; possibly a spring straight into winter. There is a loss and isolation feel to it, especially at the mention of Danae. I do love winter and I know now everyone does, which is why to me this feels like he’s writing about an ending of a beautiful spring.
April 23, 2018 at 8:54 pm
I, too, thought war when I read this. The hope he shows until the stanza you mentioned was palpable, but so is his despair.
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