Dover Beach

Poster¡G Jennifer Wang at 6:2:7 12/29/97 from
Dover Beach 

The writer - Matthew Arnold was born in Victorian age in which people no longer appreciated the beauty of nature but believed in new discoveries of science. The faith of religious was being critical, too. 
However, in this poem, the narrator was kind of mourning the fade of faith in God. In the second and third stanza, the narrator compared himself to Sophocles and both of them were listening to "the misery of human". "The misery of human" referred to people at that time pursued science blindly and forgot about the importance of nature inspiration. 
In the first stanza, the sea was calm, but under it there were many pebbles drew back and flung which made the "grating roar" and "bring the eternal note of sadness in". The narrator was with his lover standing by the window. He said, "Come to the window, sweet is the night!". He was watching Dover Beach and felt the beauty of it. 
By the time of conflicts between faith and discoveries of science, the narrator whom can be referred to Matthew Arnold himself expressed his affection to his lover and emphasized on "being true" for the world around them was bad. "The Sea of faith" can be seen as the past Romantic age which the narrator admired and "the ignorant armies" referred to the people at Victorian age. They were ignorant to the narrator because they looked down upon the beauty of nature which against the human nature. In the last stanza, the repetition of "neither*nor" strengthens the narrator*s dislike of that Industrialized age. 
The writer thought "love" can solve problems at that time, it*s also very important being true to the lover. I think Matthew Arnold was quite right, for "love" is the basic need for human, especially for lovers. If lovers couldn*t be true to each other when other people quench their true feelings to fit the modern trends, then nothing is sincere. It seemed old fashioned for Matthew Arnold to adore romance, but actually he was more modern than other people at Victorian age. For he knew the faith in nature and God cannot be changed even if science has its charms to influence people. 
The Dover Bitch 

"The Dover Bitch" was a reflection from "Dover Beach". The author Anthony Hecht took a part in the love affair of Matthew Arnold and his lover-the bitch. The poem begins with the conversation between Matthew and the girl, "Try to be true to me*.". This is quite ironic for the narrator mentioned later that "She is really all right. I still see her once in a while. *She always treats me right. *And I give her a good time*" Anthony Hecht was criticizing the importance of being true in love. No matter how hard and sincere Matthew Arnold told the girl to be true, she was still a bitch. From line 10-16, there was nothing but sex imagery in that girl*s mind when Matthew was talking about "true". And she got bored about his topic. 
The love in "The Dover Bitch" was in the 20th century which was very different from the age of "Dover Beach". It*s true that there isn*t much holiness in love today. "Being true" isn*t taken as an important element in love anymore. If Matthew read this poem, he would be very disappointed. 
Anthony Hecht didn*t scold this modernity of love in this poem, for he said in the last sentence that sometimes he brings her a bottle of wine. He is part of the modern world which is very different from Matthew Arnold.