Views expressed by Matthew Arnold’s in “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time"

What are the views expressed by Matthew Arnold’s in his critical essay “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time?” The essay “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time” is one of the most important critical essays of Matthew Arnold.It lays down the creed for Arnold’s critical approach and practical criticism.It is a sort of preamble to Arnold’s canons and concept of an ideal critic of life and literature. Arnold says that critical faculty is as important as the creative faculty.Behind every act of creative faculty there is a good deal of critical faculty.In fact, no great work of any rank is possible with but the good deal of critical effort behind it.So there is a great need for and importance of criticism in English literature.It is true that the critical effort is lower in rank than the creative power.But a man may use his critical power to produce great critical works as usually as in producing great works of art and literature. Arnold says that a creative writer needs to ha…

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Saul Bellow's Seize the Day

Seize the Day (1956) is the shortest of Saul Bellow’s novels.  It has been called ‘a small gray masterpiece.’  Unlike the sprawling and discursive Augie March, his earlier novel, it is compact and radiates from its very beginning extreme tension and extraordinary emotional resonance.  In the words of Joseph Epstein, While Augie is aware of the forces of the contemporary world which lay in wait to kill off the self and is, at that book’s end, pledged to do combat with them, the hero of Seize the Day has almost been brought to his knees by these same forces. Thus, the novel is an affirmation of human life.  As John Clayton rightly observes, it is An affirmation of the possibility that the ‘salesman’ need not go to his ‘death,’ need not live a life given to him by others and follow a masochistic strategy to preserve his childish self.             The protagonist, Tommy Wilhelm, as we first meet him, is down on his luck, out a job and desperate at his own narrowing prospects.  He is living in…

Adrienne Rich's Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law

Adrienne Rich, American poet and essayist, is best known for her examination of the experiences of women in society.  She received the Yale Younger Poets Award for her first collection of poems A Change of World.  Her other books include Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (1963), Of Woman Born (1976), The Dream of a Common Language (1978), Your Native Land, Your Life (1986), and An Atlas of the Difficult World (1992). During her career, Rich has been active in the women’s movement, the promotion of civil rights and anti-war activities. Much of her poetry reflects these concerns. In the words of Nina Baym, A multitalented writer, polemist, and literary theorist, Adrienne Cecile Rich is an exponent of a poetry of witness and dissent, a poetry that voices the discontent of those generally silenced and ignored.  She has encouraged people to question their beliefs, and in many of her poems Rich analyses herself, reflecting on such subjects as her Jewish heritage, myth, the historical developmen…