He says : ‘ gorged scheme that had left us flaccid and drain’d’
This literally translates as sucked us dry which shows how selfish the business partner was so on the whole reflects society’s greediness .
Then Tennyson goes on to criticise the actions of society and you can see this clearly when the speaker talks of how ‘blessings of Peace?’ have been ‘made into a curse’ by society. This implies to the reader that society has become so corrupt , greedy and selfish that even positive things , ‘blessings’ have been turned into bad things ‘curses’. The speaker muses on how no there are ‘pickpockets’ , ‘each hand lusting for all that is not its own’. There is now so much greediness in society that people want to own what is not theirs.
Throughout the Victorian era there was a radical change with the advance of science for example Darwin and his evolution of species which went against Religious beliefs that God created Everything . Tennyson having strong faith in Christianity highlights how this new age ‘the golden age’ despite it’s breakthroughs poses danger to society and humanity through the speaker.
The speaker says ‘these are the days of advance , the works of men of mind,’ .Tennyson using satire because he is mocking the idea of the works of men are and can be better than the the works of God and the substation of works ‘of God ’ with ‘of men of mind’ makes this very obvious to the reader.
Moreover this mockery of works of man is continued in ‘Morte D’arthur’ another poem in which Tennyson uses the legend of King Arthur and his nights of the Round Table in this case Sir Bedivere to highlight greed and materialism . He shows how Sir Bedivere finds it difficult to return Excalibur to the Lay of the lake because of greed and materialism.
When Sir Bedivere is about to throw the Excalibur in the lake for the first time he stops and feels he can’t do it :
‘He gazed so long that both his eyes were dazzled’ and his ‘swift mind’ is divided in act to throw’
Tennyson describes why he does this . It is because ‘the brand Excalibur’ ‘sparkled keen’ and how the ‘haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
Myriads of topaz-lights and jacinth-work Of subtlest Jewellery.’ Tennyson really appeals to our sense of sight because he blends unique colours and their hue for and luxurious stones well. This gives the reader that the reason why Sir Bedivere then decides it is ‘Better to leave the Excalibur conceal’d’ is because it is beautiful and he being greedy and interested in material things such as the sword wants to keep even though he knows he shouldn’t. This links with when the speaker in ‘Maud’ says ‘each hand lusting for all that is not its own’ and agin reveals the materialism and greed that exists in the Victorian Society.
King Arthur tells Sir Bedivere
‘The old order changeth , yielding place to new
And God fulfils Himself in many ways’
Tennyson again foregrounds the fact that this is the time of change when the old system along with faith and religion are fading away in the wake of the scientific and Industrial revolution which causes rise to selfishness and materialism . By placing a comma after mentioning the ‘old order ‘ it acts like a caesura and makes the reader pause and ponder over whether this new future is really as great as it seems.
In conclusion After having analysing various sections of the two poems which deal Greed and materialism I can say that I agree that The primary target of Tennyson’s poetry was greed and materialism