Essay on The Metropolitan Man

3091 Words 13 Pages
The Metropolitan Man

In Georg Simmel’s essay, “The Metropolis and Mental Life” he states, “the psychological foundation, upon which the metropolitan individuality is erected, is the intensification of emotional life due to the swift and continuous shift and external and internal stimuli” (Highmore 41). In essence Simmel is suggesting that the continuous activity of the metropolis creates a shield protecting him from outer stimuli that would exhaust his emotions. But in doing so, his sense of emotional expression becomes unresponsive. Upon examining the metropolitan man Simmel deduces that “metropolitan life, thus, underlies a heightened awareness and a predominance of intelligence” (Simmel 2). But also leaves the individual less
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In Simmel’s essay, “The Metropolis and Mental life”, he sets up an comparative image of rural and urban life, “with each crossing of the street, with the tempo and multiplicity of economic, occupational and social life, the city sets up a deep contrast with small town and rural life with reference to the sensory foundations of psychic life” (2). The metropolis demands a different type of consciousness than does rural life. The metropolitan man’s life and continually speeding up with little time for emotional growth. The emphasis here rests highly on the intellect and developing a keen understanding of academics and societal regularities, such as art, literature, and fashion. The pace of rural living is much more lethargic. Consequently more time is spent developing deep meaningful relationships with people. As Simmel also points out, a person in the city could spend their whole life not knowing their neighbor, while in the rural areas that would be completely unheard of (6). In essence, individuals in the city rely heavily in the intellect while those in rural areas put a great deal of emphasis on relationships, both of these are means of survival. Over time there has been an evolution of the metropolitan man. In Simmel’s essay, “The Conflict in Modern Culture” he traces this progress form the early Middle Ages, to
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