Can anyone help me with my thesis, comparing Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider" to Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach?"I am suppose to do a compare and contrast essay between a noiseless patient...

Can anyone help me with my thesis, comparing Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider" to Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach?"

I am suppose to do a compare and contrast essay between a noiseless patient spider and dover beach. I believe that both poems refer to faith and knowledge, but with a completely different result. Whitman's poem attempts to connect with the unknown in hope that he will eventually understand the world. While "Dover Beach" tells about the weakening of faith due to humanity's new found knowledge. So for "Dover Beach" knowledge results in the disappearance of faith and, therefore, "human misery..." ?

Asked on by fish17

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Your reasoning makes perfect sense. I wonder if your presentation of Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider" will also include the hope that the speaker has that his Soul will make worthwhile and satisfying discoveries just like the patient spider?

The very different results do seem to concentrate on the faith that perseverance will succeed on the part of the spider and man in the first poem; the second poem—Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach"—sees the beauty in the land and see as they once were the world; but things have changed drastically, and he believes that their only hope of survival is staying together.

If I were writing a thesis statement in comparing the two poems, it might sound something like this:

In comparing and contrasting Walt Whitman's "A Noiseless Patient Spider," and Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach," both speakers are wishful that goodness be found in the world; however, where Whitman presents the sense that hard work brings success and pleasure—all of it in a person's control, Arnold indicates that though there has been goodness in the world (in terms of religious faith), it is disappearing, and true meaning may only exist now between he and his love.

I think it might be important to note that Whitman sees deliverance in hard work, where Arnold sees survival in the dedication and loyalty two people promise each other. The hope is there in both poems. Whitman's is much more optimistic, coming from nature and knowledge of the world, while Arnold's tone provides a tiny glimmer of hope in the presence of loyalty and devotion, but not from the world itself.

I hope this is of some help.

 

Additional Source:

http://www.enotes.com/dover-beach-salem/dover-beach

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lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

In Arnold's "Dover Beach" poem and Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider," there is a search for something beyond one's grasp which will eventually fulfill one's inner longing...

lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Thesis:

In Arnold's "Dover Beach" poem and Whitman's "A Noiselss Patient 
Spider," there is a distinct separation in feelings and intellect, which in turn results in human misery and isolation.

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