Dover Beach – Tone Analysis Essay

In “Dover Beach. ” Matthew Arnold’s usage of enunciation and imagination reveal the overall pessimistic tone of the verse form.

The usage of enunciation brings the reader toward two separate tones. yet they unambiguously contribute to general feeling of pessimism that Matthew Arnold portrays. In the first stanza. the “calm” sea brings a feeling of peaceableness. Since it is non disruptive. but instead calm and still. the composure of the sea evokes feelings of harmoniousness. This tone is set to demo the value and possibilities of a peaceable life. portrayed through a soundless sea. In add-on. the reader besides experiences a sense of stableness in the “cliffs. ” Since they are solid and unchanging. they create a reassuring sense of permanency as they stand against the quieting sea. Therefore. as the writer experiences such feelings looking through the window. they create a sense of understanding at what Matthew Arnold sees when he is able to see the Earth as a appeasement. stable topographic point.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Yet this image quickly changes as the reader is left with a somber tone through descriptions of a “tremulous” beat that brings “eternal…sadness” to one time peaceable sea. It is clear that the writer has a sense of fright that is brought on by such unpleasant sounds. They remind him of a alteration that will non discontinue. and can non be ignored. Additionally. descriptions of the human province as “turbid” conveying ideas of darkness and confusion. Unlike the province of peace he used to see. he now sees life as being so clouded and dense that it appears dark and diffident. The darkness and murk of his ain life are seen through the denseness of the sea. He views life pessimistically. for he can no longer see his manner through the fog. Yet there is a hope in the prevalent image of peaceableness. and a yearning for the composure that was lost.

Imagination is used in many ways to show the pessimistic tone that the verse form holds. In the beginning. his life is like the “tranquil bay. ” He experiences the same peace and repose in his life that he sees looking onto Dover Beach. The peaceable tone is set by the image of a quieting sea lit by the moonshine. Yet the tone changes to one of confusion with the image of the “grating boom of pebbles which the moving ridges draw back and fling. ” The grate boom is an unpleasant image. with the slingshot-like sea giving a negative and forced feeling of unsteadiness. Thingss are no longer stable and still. but instead wildly flung about and insecure at the caprices of the violent moving ridges. The cause of such feelings shortly become clear with the image of the “Sea of Faith” in which his ain steadiness “retreat [ s ] . to the breath of the dark air current. ”

It becomes apparent that life has carried his religion off. as if on the air current. It brings on a keening tone in which he feels a yearning for the yesteryear of stability he one time experienced. Yet now. although the universe seems like “a land of dreams. ” it is nil but a “darkling field. ” There is an obvious gleam of hope that is seen through the perceptual experience of such a universe. full of hope and dreams. Yet it is rapidly covered by the perceptual experience of a darkness in which dreams can non be seen. The verse form ends with the image of “ignorant ground forcess [ that ] clang by dark. ” The ground forcess are confused in the darkness and can non separate which manner to travel. or who to swear in the duskiness of dark. Matthew Arnold depicts through such an image that the universe has besides become like that battleground because of its loss of religion and relationships. Yet. despite his pessimistic positions of darkness. confusion. lamenting. and fright. there lives the hope of get awaying such darkness. to return to the repose that he one time knew existed as on the shores of Dover Beach