The Literature Is Criticism of Life

Topics: Poetry, Literary criticism, Plato Pages: 2 (546 words) Published: September 5, 2013
Jeremy Jeon
Mrs. Rowe
English 1H
17 August 2013
The literature is a criticism of life. Arnold is correct in says that literature is a criticism of life because personally I think that it is simply a portrayal of life’s situations. Also I think that Literature is often a mirror for what is going on in society and a vehicle to change that which we don’t like. Many books today use their pages to put forth social commentary. They reflect the issues of the time, including race, class, morals, etc. All these issues that make up and affect our life are explored, examined, reaffirmed, broken down, rejected, accepted, and revised through global narrative discussions in literature. I think it can be sometime because people is different each other, so everyone has different thought. However, in my thought, literature is a criticism of life because I have read some literature, so there were some criticisms. Some literature has a criticism, but not always. However, many literature has a criticism in their each story. Mathew Arnold’s greatness lies in the fact that he had a definite aim in writing The Study of Poetry. He clearly stated this aim and tied to conform (be conventional) to his aim. His aim was “a criticism of life”. By “criticism of life” he meant “noble and profound application of ideas to life”; he believes “mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us”. In the beginning of his essay he states: “In poetry as criticism of life, under conditions fixed for such criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty, the spirit of our race will find, as time goes by and as other helps fail, its consolation and stay.” Thus, according to him, the best poetry is governed by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty.

Arnold had a very high conception of poetry. The best poetry, he said, is a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of...
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