Modern Civilization revolves around Technology and the terminal end of Technology is to take the soil from under the fingernails of Man and do him cultured. In fact. demoing a great prejudice towards metropolis inhabitants. the word “Civilization” itself is derived from the Latin word “Civitas” which denotes the townsman who is more refined than his state brooding coevalss. But Modern civilization and Civilization is characterized by a distancing from nature.
The tenseness between the nature and engineering ( one of the most of import footing of Modern civilization prevalent in the metropoliss ) forms the footing of his famed essay “The Metropolis and the Mental Life” . At the beginning Simmel negotiations about what adult male requires in his Life. He says “Man is a creative activity whose being is dependent on differences. i. e. his head is stimulated by the difference between present feelings and those which have preceded” . City life is characterized by concentration of a huge humanity in a limited topographic point.
As Elisabeth Adams explains it in her competently titled article “Alone in the Crowd: human reactions to urbanization” . “The mean occupant of a metropolis dwelt in far closer propinquity to other people and saw many times more members of his species in one twenty-four hours than his ascendants merely a coevals or two removed might hold seen in a life-time. and yet the metropolis became known as a universe of profoundly impersonal relationships between people. ” ( Elisabeth Adams ) Taking this statement frontward Simmel proposes the construct of worldly attitude that characterizes the metropolis inhabitants.
“This incapacity to respond to new stimulations with the needed sum of energy constitutes in fact that blase attitude which every kid of a big metropolis evinces when compared with the merchandises of the more peaceable and more stable surroundings. ” ( Simmel 81 ) Though it can be argued that Simmel might hold excessively generalized the phenomenon. this has been observed widely adequate to be given a pride of topographic point in modern-day literature. In his short narrative “The Defeat of the City” O Henry speaks about entirely about Simmel’s statements. though in a mode more disposed to entertain than readily edify.
Robert Walmsley descends upon the metropolis to claim his rightful topographic point in the pantheon of legal leading lights and goes on to go one of the most famed members of its high civilization societies – full of polished manners and learned appeal. He even marries the most sought after of the high society adult females – Alicia Van Der Pool. The description of Alicia by O Henry itself seems to warrant the huge research that must hold prompted Simmel and many sociologists and anthropologists since in to the hazards of metropolis home.
To distinguish the natural poise of a farm male child and high society gentleman. O Henry uses one of the most disposed descriptions which seem to warrant the point about unsusceptibility to new stimulations – the worldly attitude – formulated by Simmel. O Henry says “He was a lucky adult male and knew it. even though he were copying the Spartan male child with an ice-cream deep-freeze beneath his doublet frappeeing the part of his bosom. ” ( 239 ) O Henry goes on to demo the little pleasances of the small town with the alone gift that he has to transform everyday things charming.
The metropolis brooding Alicia is seen to be soundless and cool but non haughty. It is left to the imaginativeness of the reader to cognize the province of Walmsley. Here he was the cool and successful member of the city’s elect posing in the company of his non so educated Mother doing polite conversation with her high society daughter-in-law about marmalade. his sister and even their household dog seeking to be portion of their eventide conversation. It is in this puting the pride of his rural life enters Walmsley’s head and he gets seized by it.
He. who was dying Als that while about his wife’s reactions to his native rural roots. all of a sudden stops to care. He knows that the effects ( as the reader can conceive of ) are traveling to be dangerous. But the joyous and foolhardy spirit of the small town engulfs him – the same spirit which has the capableness to respond with unadulterated joy to such little pleasances of sight. sound and odor – the same spirit which is lost in the metropolis with all its pretences and stiff conditions of how things ought to be.
The spirit which gives adult male the capableness of cheery wantonness and the will to prosecute smallest step of felicity with a desire so robust. that it would be called crass in the extremely desensitized metropolis life. As the narrative goes along. the reader tickers with increasing dismay. the loss of ground in Walmsley’s actions. The same reader who carries on with trepidation how Walmsley was traveling to conceal and writhe at the rural crassitude of his strain all of a sudden discovers that it is non his household or folks or anything that goes out of its manner to demo the tru colour of Walmsley’s roots but Walmsley himself.
He calls for manfully wrestling turns with his brother Tom and wins most of them. He challenges the full farm group. He dances with cheery wantonnesss and in Henry’s words “He turned handsprings on the grass that prodded Tom to covetous irony. And so. with a whoop. he clattered to the rear and brought back Uncle Ike. a beat-up coloured consideration of the household. with his banjo. and strewed sand on the porch and danced “Chicken in the Bread Tray” and did buck-and-wing admirations for half an hr longer. Incredibly. wild and rambunctious things he did.
He sang. he told narratives that set all but one scream. he played the rube. the humourous brogan ; he was huffy. mad with the resurgence of the old life in his blood. ” ( O Henry 240 ) These lines are most descriptive of the difference between metropolis life and the life off from the stiff prescription of metropolis life. As Simmel describes the grounds behind the worldly attitude of metropolis life “It has been Money economic system which has therefore filled the day-to-day life of so many people with weighing. ciphering. reciting and the decrease of qualitative values to quantitative terms” ( Simmel 80 )
How can you quantify the simple pleasances of disbursement clip jesting around with your household and inhaling the sweet aroma of Earth that you grew up on? This contradiction in Walmsley’s character goes to demo that nevertheless metropolis life might take over a adult male. there shall ever lie a kid inside every adult male who wants to play simple. apparently nonmeaningful and inconsequential games which are of no usage but have the capableness to give immense an purest signifier of pleasance. As Walmsley reveals his roots and his natural robust nature unmindful of his high society married woman. she retreats to her room.
He begins to all of a sudden fear an brush with her because he is certain of the nature and strength of her reaction. “All the gloss. the poise. the signifier that the metropolis had given him had fallen from him like an ill-fitting mantle at the first breath of a state zephyr. Dully he awaited the nearing disapprobation. ” ( O Henry 241 ) It is but natural for him to anticipate the celestial spheres to come cascading down on him in reproach. But being true to his trade name of “twist in the tale” O Henry. Alicia exclaims that she thought she married a adult male boulder clay she came to the small town and found out the truth.
The stoping is vintage O Henry “But I find that I have married”–was this Alicia speaking? –“something better–a man–Bob. beloved. snog me. won’t you? ” The metropolis was far off. ( O Henry 241 ) O Henry manages to give the form of a narrative to all of Simmel’s theories about the cold distance of metropolis life. which is so much in pronounced contrast to the vivaciousness of rural life. lived in close propinquity to nature –even if it means populating off from the surrounding mannerism of metropolis and engineering.
Plants cited Simmel. Georg & A ; Kurt H Wolff. The sociology of Georg Simmel. Washington: Free Press. 1950 O Henry. Compiled by Bennett Cerf. Van Henry Cartmell. The best short narratives of O. Henry. The Modern library. 1945 Adams. Elisabeth. Entirely in the crowd: human reactions to urbanisation. 6 December 1999. Improbable. org. accessed on 26 March 2009. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //improbable. org/era/essays/alone. hypertext markup language & gt ;