Blog 6, Week 8

Take one stanza from the Scholar Gypsy and carefully explicate its meaning saying how you think the language and form (stanza shape) contribute to the stanza’s power and effect.


The Scholar Gypsy written by Matthew Arnold explores the ideas of the ways of fulfilling life and how an individual show potentially live within a materialistic world. Arnold writes during the industrial revolution, meaning that his work is warning for his intended audience as he does not want his society to lose the essence of nature and reality. In particular, stanza nineteen it the most important part of the poem as it delves into the consequences of materialistic ideals and how their modern society is losing touch with the way of life.

The stanza itself, the turning point of the poem as the comparison between the gypsy and the persona highlights that the Scholar Gypsy is free from modernism and the effects of the industrial revolution. Unlike the persona whose tone is almost envious of the Scholar Gypsy as he seems to understand that he is trapped within this new structure and purpose of society. With the line:

“O life unlike to ours!”

It emphases the divide between the utilitarian society compared to rural, more traditional types of societies. With this line, it also changes the feel and concept of the poem. Moving it away from the Scholar Gypsy towards the downfall of a materialistic society that functions off the greed of wealth. The line divides the poem and conveys the difference between the two individuals in this poem.



3 thoughts on “Blog 6, Week 8

  1. Hey Riley,

    I really enjoyed your entry for this week, and I do agree with the points you have raised in regards to “The Scholar Gypsy”. I did find that the whole poem explores the ideas of fulfilling life in a much more simplistic way, rather than having to use materialistic things to make us feel the sense of enjoyment. I actually quite enjoyed the fact that you have said that the poet has written this to send a message to the intended audience that society should not be consumed in this so called ‘modern’ way of society and we also shouldn’t lose grasp on the essence of nature. The comparison you have identified in the chosen stanza does show the speaker’s guilt towards the scholar gypsy as the speaker does wish that they had a life similar to the scholar gypsy’s.

    The only thing i picked up from reading your post is in your last paragraph, I think the word “emphases” should be replaced with “emphasises”. Other than that, it was a really enjoyable post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Riley,

    Your recent blogpost was quite enjoyable! I loved the way in which you were able to highlight the tone throughout Arnold’s text; you were also able to touch on how the structure and word choice guided the direction of the poem. As well as this, you were able to show how word choice impacted the way that the reader was able to see the stark changes in Arnold’s society that he wanted his audience to see.

    My only advice, would be to watch your wording a bit. “Moving it away from the Scholar Gypsy towards the downfall of a materialistic society that functions off the greed of wealth” felt a little incomplete, but I felt like that was just the result of an outpour of a whole heap of ideas from you!

    Keep it up!



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