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T.S. Eliot and Matthew Arnold

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a2m0e0m2
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@xwing37 I agree with your point. I wouldn't say that they despise each other, but there is definitely a competitive atmosphere between the two. I would assume that that they use this to their advantage to advance in their skills by the means of competition and opposition on certain beliefs, but I guess we will find out as the chapters go on. 


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stella
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@klynnph In the piece that I read, it talked a lot about the differences between Elliot and Arnold, along with some of their similarities. The reading discussed how much of Elliot's early work was similar, but his later work was critical of his work and his character. I found particularly interesting in the reading that it suggested that Elliot had a bit of an Oedipus complex. Not in a weird way, but Elliot needed to "kill" Arnold to surpass him as an author. Basically, Arnold started as the father, guiding Elliot's early work. When Elliot began to challenge Arnold's thinking and coming up with different theories, he "killed" Elliot.


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wildsalmon
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@stella This really got me thinking about the concept of progression in literary theories. Based on this metaphorical killing, one could make the argument that Modernism is a successor or sequel to Historicism. Obviously I know about Postmodernism (though not much past the fact that it exists), and I assume it's much the same: whoever was a lead thinker with this theory must've looked at all the previous theories and made an entirely new one. It makes me wonder, maybe Eliot was the only one who thought this way, or maybe every theory is part of a singular complex family tree. In fact, perhaps there's an "ultimate" theory where there's no improvements yet to make, although I guess that most critics would say that about their own philosophy at the time. It just intrigues me to think, I wonder what Eliot would say about all the ideas derived from him.


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Gil
 Gil
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I thought the one reading I read about Arnold and Elliot was interesting because they are pretty similar, and Elliot criticized Arnold so much! I read the piece mentioned something about how one must discredit old ways, to gain beliefs in the new one-which makes sense! Can anyone think of examples in which this also happens, when one discredits another, just to make their argument seem stronger? Maybe religion is example. For I feel when it really comes down to it, religion is kind of all the same, especially among Christianity...however because of those small details people like to act like their religion is more correct, and the others are not. 


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octavia
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@gil This is a really great point and religion is an interesting example to choose! Lots of ideologies in life gain followers by discrediting the other ideologies, and this could honestly go with anything. I think it could even go with politics and political parties. This idea of discrediting to prove the credibility of one's own ideology is a popular one. 


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username27
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@octavia - I think this is so interesting to talk about. Groups discredit others in order bolster their numbers in following. If all groups discredit one another, how do we choose which groups to follow? I think most of us just choose groups that most align with our beliefs, but also we get some groups from our parents which then contribute to the shaping of our beliefs.


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octavia
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@username27 Yes definitely. Our environments and the people around us influence our beliefs greatly. I think this is a crucial point to bring up, as one's influences can change any subtle thing in their beliefs, morals, and groups they feel aligned with. This can also create polarization and division very easily amongst groups with different ideologies. In relation to Eliot and Arnold, this could probably be applied. Their influences may have heavily or somewhat caused them to stand for what they stand for, and the expression of different views can lead to division and competition.


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MangoMan
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@xwing37 I agree, I think it is only natural for two people of different view points and philosophies when writing to disagree and debate which one is correct.  But when these two people are intelligent and can see each others points of view I believe that they respect each other.  What do you think?


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Delphine
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@stella This is interesting to touch on. The idea that they began as mutuals but began to grow apart is one that can be related to real-life when people who begin working together may drift apart due to the competitive nature of man.


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stella
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@gil When reading this, the first thing that came to mind was politics. Something that I thought could be comparable to Arnold and Elliot's situation is during debates of a certain party. People in the same party tend to agree with each other, like how Elliot based many of his early views on Arnold. When it's time to debate and campaign the politicians, try to separate themselves from each other as much as possible, and a lot of times, this is done by discrediting someone's work or their character. 


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