Concept Of Culture By Matthew Arnold

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Matthew Arnold sees 'culture ' as the solution to overcome social distinction, and ensure stability and unity among society, while T.S. Eliot presents 'culture ' as the root cause of social difference and inequality. Arnold defines 'culture ' as the pursuit of 'human perfection ' (Arnold, 1822,1888), he therefore puts the emphasis on the individual. According to him, it is in the individuals interest to perfect himself by acquiring the knowledge that will enable them to think and understand the world that surrounds them and their own lives. Having learnt this, the individuals are able to spread and share is awareness and insight. By doing so, they achieve the real purpose of culture, which is the creation of an equitable society. To Arnold those who have succeeded in reaching this state of 'perfection ' must instruct others and be altruistic in order to build a sense of evenness and fairness among society, and end social imbalance and conflicts. However, he writes that neither the 'passion for pure knowledge ' or 'the moral and social passion for good doing ' (Arnold, 1822,1888) are sufficient to sustain culture. In fact, Arnold considers religion as an important factor in making culture prevail. He sees culture and religion as two separate concepts and describes religion as a model and a guide for culture. He says that religion is 'the greatest and most important efforts by which human has manifested its impulse to perfect himself ' (Arnold, 1822,1888), thus the
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