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Exploration of Self in Matthew Arnold's The Buried Life One of the modes of poetry motif and articles was that of emotional exploration itself, according to the poem "The Buried Life" by Matthew Arnold. Class structure and gender roles were vividly looked in depth, "definitions of masculinity and femininity were earnestly contested during the period of time, with increasing sharp assaults on traditional characters..." (Longman, p. 1888). What it was to be a man (or girl) was frequently in question, and much of Victorian poetry addressed this. Arnold believed that, "literature must directly address the moral needs of subscribers" (Longman, p. 2017) He felt a need to instruct and teach society to a fuller comprehension of its democratic objectives. "The Buried Life" could be seen as man's struggle against society's forced class and gender roles. The poem speaks with an "I" point of view, something that was new for its Victorian age, however which became a growing mode throughout poetry. We all know not that the "I" is in this poem, and I would doubt that it reflects the writer himself. The character of this poem, right from the start feels a despair that comes from the inner battle between what society portrays as "should" and exactly what a individual really feels, "I sense a nameless sadness o'er me roll,/ yes, yes , we know that we can jest,/ we know we , we all know that we're able to smile! / But there's a something within this breast / to that thy light words bring no break." (3-7) There's the beginning sense here that he is beginning to see conflict within himself characterized by his emotions. In the next stanza of the poem, the majority of the lines signify the characters feeling of powerlessness to put a voice to this internal battle, to be...