English 101 MW12
17 September 2009
Enoch Arden’s Charity and Goodwill
In Alfred Tennyson’s poem of skilled writing, “Enoch Arden”, Enoch leaves his family to better serve them as a husband and father. The poem firmly establishes the perplexity of one’s generous personality. Enoch leaves his family to better the lives for each of them in a manner that reflects a view of personal toil and hardship to support the family in economic downfall. Also in Enoch’s absence it is written that Philip Ray provides for Enoch’s children and wife Annie Lee, enabling the thought of generosity and charitable goodwill toward the character. As we are now living in the twenty-first century, one may see this poem as not a literary work of art but a reinforcement of charity and goodwill.
In these modern times charitable generosity is a hard thing to come by. This literary work only widens the scope of the support of a human compassion. Throughout the poem, examples of charity and generosity are given. The whole basis of the poem is Enoch is on leave due to a job opportunity offered to him, being that Enoch is unemployed he accepted. Of course this too is an interpretation of Enoch’s goodwill; Enoch leaves only to provide economically for his family. One may argue that even Enoch’s decision to not return to his family is a form of generous goodwill. Another passage demonstrates Enoch’s compassion referring to his sickly child right before he was to leave on his journey, “ ‘Wake him not, let him sleep... How should the child remember this?’ and kiss’d him in his cot.”
The poem does not only use Enoch as a form of human charity but Philip Ray as well. Philip, Enoch’s friend, who is secretly in love with Annie, Enoch’s wife, since their orphaned childhood is an exemplary example of charity. Philip’s goodwill and love for Annie, somewhat obligates him to provide for Annie and her family in Enoch’s absence stating: “Let me put the boy and girl to school”. The immense...