Thomas Carlyle wrote in a voice he wanted to be heard forever, he was a man of the times, he spoke to the people about his beliefs in humanity and in what people here on the planet earth are to accomplish as individuals. Time is ever-changing everything for the human race, Carlyle openly discuses the defense against holding to one fashion of spirituality. He advocates that free men are to use their liberty to work toward the common good. Leaders, in Carlyle’s eyes, are seen as producers that can connect with something beyond money and statistics. Fulfillment of nature’s cause is inevitable in Carlyle’s world. His manner of unveiling by unraveling the true nature of Gods purpose for us was Thomas Carlyle’s way of reveling himself as a finite thread in the infinite cloak of nature.
Carlyle insists on presenting us with the fact that through the process of time our civilizations change, he believes that humans need to adapt to the changes as we step forward into future eras. We must change according to him through time because for people to perceive the true order of nature they must be able to comprehend it. Carlyle says’
“In every new era, too, such Solution comesout in different terms; and every the Solution of the last era has become obsolete, and is found unserviceable. For it is man’s nature to change Dialect from century to century;” (1021)
It’s our nature, to manipulate nature. Carlyle encourages innovation through time. He mentions
“much more his collective stock of Handicrafts, the whole Faculty he has acquired of manipulating Nature: all these things, as indispensable and priceless as they are cannot in anyway be fixed under lock and key, but must flit, spirit-like, on impalpable vehicles, from Father to Son”(1012)
He succeeds in defining that the essence of our nature is as ever evolving. Current “Handicrafts” have spun into many different forms, now we have people tinkering on Blogs, and Cellphones. Change is seen as a pleasant inevitability in the early Victorian era, yet only under the right context.
Carlyle doesn’t think we can ever ultimately be satisfied through happiness. He finds us searching for the truth, only to find that “Man’s Unhappiness… comes of his Greatness; it is because there is an Infinite in him, which with all his cunning he cannot quite bury under the Finite.”(1021) He goes on to tell us that if we were to try ”to make one Shoeblack Happy” that we would need “no more, and no less: God’s infinite universe altogether to himself, therein to enjoy infinitely, and fill every wish as fast as it rose.”(1021) Man is unable to fill that void. Mans claim that he can succeed in feeling “Happy” is a joke to Carlyle. He calls out to anyone trying to attain happiness “Foolish soul! What Act of Legislature was there that thou shouldst be Happy? A little while ago thou hadst no right to be at all.” (1021) Carlyle claims to know that “there is in man a Higher than Love of Happiness: he can do without Happiness, and instead thereof find Blessedness!” (1022) Embracing life as beyond just the material and pleasant, Carlyle projects us into the world ready to serve ourselves to be the best we can be.
In accordance with the laws of nature, Carlyle say’s humans need to find themselves. He believes that we are inherently capable to hear what‘s in our hearts “Feel it in thy heart, and then say whether it is of God! This is Belief; all else is Opinion,” (1023) Carlyle asks us to question killing one another over “Plenary inspiration”(1023) in following the natural will of God Carlyle say’s “We have here not a Whole Duty of Man, yet a Half Duty, namely the Passive half: could we but do it, as we can demonstrate it!” (1023) He even instructs us how to ‘Do the Duty which lies nearest thee, which thou knowest to be a Duty! Thy second Duty will already have become clear.” (1023) The general feel that is given off by Carlyle’s pros is that if man does follow nature honestly from the heart, it will look ‘to a certain extent’ like “Applied Christianity”(1023).
Freedom in the views of the Carlyle is a divine right to be in the best you can be. We are told
“Liberty? The true liberty of a man, you would say, consisted in his finding out, or being forced to find out, the right path, and to walk thereon. To learn, or be taught, what work he actually was able for; and then by permission, persuasion, and even compulsion, to set about doing of the same! That is his true blessedness, honour, “liberty” (1027)
Carlyle compels his readers to become independent in their actions. He demands that any authority figures have a certain set of qualities, “if thou really art my Wiser, may a beneficent instinct lead and impel thee to “conquer” me, to command me! If thou do know better than I what is good and right”(1027) Individuals who are prone to know better in the past Carlyle makes remarks of, he refers to the
“Founders of Aristocracies. Which indeed have they not the most “divine right “ to found; being themselves very truly Aristoi, Bravest, Best; and conquering generally a confused rabble of Worst, or at lowest, clearly enough, of Worse? (1027)
He picks on Willelmus Conquaestor, Carlyle saying “he by no means felt himself doing Nature’s work, this Willelmus, but his own work exclusively” (1028) Carlyle says that “When a world, not yet doomed for death, is rushing down to ever-deeper Baseness and Confusion, it is a dire necessity of Nature’s to bring on her Aristocracies, her best, even by forcible methods.” (1028) He concludes Democracy by confronting us with the fact that the most difficult aspect of it all is “That of finding government by your Real Superiors!” (1029 )
So we’ve been introduced to a world where we know the best need to step up and cry out for virtue and justice. Carlyle say’s that “Managing the Working Classes, will, it is very clear, have to be solve by those who stand practically in the middle of it; by those who themselves work and preside over work.” (1029) Yet Carlyle still sees no end to the chaos, as long as he can ask “Why the deadly hast to make money? I shall go to Hell, even if I do not make money! There is another Hell, I am told!”(1029) The solutions to England’s and the world’s problems if they are to be solved by the working middle class, well have to be done by a group of individuals who actually believe they are destined to lead the people. Carlyle asks the people “Awake, O nightmare sleepers; awake, arise, or be for ever fallen! This is not play house poetry; it is sober fact, Our England, our world cannot live as it is. It will connect itself with a God again, or go down, with nameless throes and fire-consummation to the Devils.” (1030) Carlyle believes that unless the “Captains of Industry” stand up inherently, we’re doomed.
Love forces individuals to remain on the path to righteousness. Carlyle say’s “Love of men cannot be bought by cash-payment; and without love, men cannot endure to be together.” (1031) Economy goes right out the picture there. Love is inequitable in numbers. Victorians were immersed in a utilitarian world that was turning away form the love of humanity to the love of money and its value. This ideology has long since continued and in doing so has created havoc for our future. Carlyle asks
“Good Heavens, will no one French Revolution and Reign of Terror suffice us, but must there be two? There will be two if needed; there will be twenty if needed, there will be precisely as many as needed. The Laws of Nature will have themselves fulfilled. That is a thing certain to me” (1031)
Judging from the appearance of the world today Carlyle may assume we’re going to be forced to go through a new “Reign of Terror.”
Standing up to the almighty day’s wages as a unit that looks past the moment of the day toward the soul of man. Carlyle encourages us to be human, he say’s “ The Feudal Baron had a Man’s Soul in him; to which anarchy, mutiny, and the other fruits of temporary mercenaries, were intolerable: he had never been a Baron otherwise, but had continued a Chactaw and Bucanier. “(1032) Carlyle tells us to conquer ourselves like we conquered “the waste cotton-shrub, long used, disobedient, as the thistle by the wayside… made it into beautiful bandana webs; white woven shirts for men,” we made it our own, human. We worked on it over time and made something that is still around. Humans have to recognize themselves as people from “the land of Difficulties Conquered.” (1033)It is in our nature to push forward, not for pleasure or money, but for our selves our nature, our soul.
Listening to the sounds on the streets today, we find that the words of Thomas Carlyle still resonate with us. Through the use of his pros he succeeds in persuading us that man has a chance at remaining at the top of nature. Time is something that we must find ourselves adapting too. Religion is a force we use to continue to push us toward a noble future, a future where men with skill and the tenacity to enforce it, thrive. Nature is on her course according to Carlyle, and he thinks we’re blessed to be able to use our minds and work with it. Carlyle can see what lies beneath the stains of man, and he thinks we should just get a new coat to replace the old one.
Carlyle, Thomas. Sartor Resartus, Eight Eitiond The Norton Anthology . ED
Stephen Greenblatt. New York .2006. 1006-1024 Print.
Carlyle, Thomas. Past and Present, Eight Eitiond The Norton Anthology . ED
Stephen Greenblatt. New York .2006. 1024-1033 Print.