An Essay On Ralph Waldo Emerson

An Essay On Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Brent Turner

Advanced Senior English

December 12, 2017

Mrs. Stapleton

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American transcendentalist poet and writer in the 1800s. He led the transcendentalist movement in the mid 19th century. Emerson focused his writings on nature and anti-slavery. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his works, like in his 1836 essay "Nature".

Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston Massachusetts on May 25, 1803. Emerson's father was actively involved in the church, much like their past ancestors. He grew up in a religious home but he had many doubts, which would lead up to his active role in the transcendentalist movement. Emerson was the second of five siblings to make it into adulthood. Death became common in the Emerson household as his father died days before his eighth birthday. His father's death caused him to grow up in a house with his mother and aunt, causing him to have different views of women that other men did at the time.

Emerson's educations took flight in 1812 when he first attended the Boston Latin School. Five years after that, Ralph enrolled at Harvard University for his undergraduate degree. But, his studies were cut short by vision problems and left Harvard. Soon after that though, Emerson became an ordained minister.

Emerson had two wives in is time and after the death of his first wife he retired from being a minister due to a loss in faith. Emerson was again faced with death when his son, Waldo, died at the age of 5.

Ralph Waldo Emerson left the states, after his son's death, in 1833 to travel Europe and wrote of his travels in his book called...


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...ion and write about those. He was the leader in the transcendentalist movement. Emerson once said "What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you" which describes his thoughts about believing in yourself and not something spiritually(brainyquotes.com)

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Works Cited

"Ralph Waldo Emerson." American Transcendentalism Web, transcendentalism-legacy.tamu.edu/authors/emerson/.

"Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes." BrainyQuote, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/ralph_waldo_emerson_386697.

"Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography - Life, Family, Children, Wife, School, Mother, Young, Book, Information, Born." Notable Biographies, www.notablebiographies.com/Du-Fi/Emerson-Ralph-Waldo.html.

"The American Transcendentalist Who Influenced a Generation of Writers." ThoughtCo, 4 Apr. 2017, www.thoughtco.com/ralph-waldo-emerson-1773667.

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