The name Ralph Waldo Emerson resonates in my mind as that of a man who possessed the unique and incredible power to uplift, provoke thought, and inspire with his words. I have an unchanging image of Emerson in my thoughts as a modern-day Socrates: a man who questions all in search of something, anything that will explain that which has not yet been explained. The answers Emerson provides for the questions he poses serve as guidelines rather than concrete instructions, for he encourages his audience to think, to wonder, to ask, and to be wrong – forever searching for the correct answers to perhaps even questions not yet posed. Emerson is not a man known for his absolute and unyielding accuracy on all matters, for he has been known to contradict himself and change his mind, but his efforts prove that being wrong or attaining new information is not necessarily “bad,” but instead allows for the growth of one’s mind. In my experience, I have been known to change my mind constantly, and I do not feel this makes me hypocritical, but instead ever changing, ever evolving, ever growing as a human being who is exposed to new information each and every day. It is not hypocritical to change one’s mind; instead, I feel that it exacts a great deal of intelligence, humility, and a willingness to adapt in order to avoid becoming stagnant and ignorant in an ever-changing world. Reading the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson has effected me very positively, for his writings have been able to further expand the limits of my mind: there is no right, no wrong, just here and now --- and that is all one is able to work with until time passes further.
The works of Emerson that I have been exposed to follow a unique, precise, and oftentimes eloquent train of ...
... middle of paper ...
...act that his writing forces you to think. Emerson’s writing forces his audience to answer the questions he poses, to search deep within themselves for the answers and then look back to Emerson for guidance. One does not simply read the works of Emerson; one partakes in a conversation with him, consisting of the silent and solitary exchange of thoughts and ideas in order to create something that seems to touch on sense, together.
Emerson, Ralph W. "Self-Reliance." Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ed.
William H. Gilman. New York: Signet Classics, 2011. 266-92. Print
---. "Fate." Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ed.
William H. Gilman. New York: Signet Classics, 2011. 413-41. Print
---. "The Transcendentalist." The American Transcendentalists: Essential Writings. Ed.
Lawrence Buell. New York: Modern Library, 2006. 107-22. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th century poet and philosopher, who wrote several essays and poems throughout his career(1). Emerson was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard College. In 1826, he became a minister, and later in 1829 was ordained to a Unitarian church. That same year  he married his wife, who died of tuberculosis just three years later. Emerson found himself in an immense state of grief and ended up stepping down from his clergy status. (1) In 1832, Emerson spent time in Europe with literary scholars, developing the ideas and notions of spirituality that are found in his compilation of essays titled Nature.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Concord]
770 words (2.2 pages)
- It is not a crime to want to be like other people, to fit in with the popular kids, to be accepted into society with all its glory, or is it. One of America’s most influential writer and thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson – in his essay, Self-Reliance - has a unique opinion on the idea of one’s desire to model another’s respectable actions. He believes that all people should look into themselves and follow their own heart instead of trying to be like everyone else. Emerson’s well thought out figurative language, innovative rhetorical strategies, and remarkable style helps him show the people his individualistic approach.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Individualism, Idea]
701 words (2 pages)
- Analysis of the Poems and Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson The thoughts and feelings of Ralph Waldo Emerson are uplifting, empowering and can make one feel like their actions matter in a world surrounded by cynicism and despair. His poem "Give all to love" hints briefly at the pain he experienced in his life and his views on love and the human experience. It also demonstrates the style of writing of the transcendentalists. In order to understand Emerson's writing one must first understand the man.... [tags: Papers]
940 words (2.7 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman are two of the most iconic American poets of the 19th century. Emerson and Whitman were both revolutionaries in American poetry, in their own time and their own right. When Emerson released his piece “The Poet,” a writing that challenged all of the American poets to become, as he put it, the next “Great American Poet,” which would address all of “the facts of the animal economy, sex, nutriment, gestation, birth.” Of all the poets that read Emerson’s piece, Whitman was the one who decided to “put the living, breathing, sexual body at the center of much of his poetry, challenging conventions of the day” (“Walt Whitman”, The Norton Anthology of American Lit... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]
1223 words (3.5 pages)
- The Audience and Writing Audience. Just one word yet it stirs frighteningly confusing images of perplexing thoughts in my mind. The word alone is strange, but when put in context of an essay it leaves me baffled and frustrated[d1] . The questions; “What is Audience?” “Why do I need it?” and, “What purpose does it serve?” are important to my finally some day understanding the concept of Audience, but at this point I can’t answer them fully[d2] . I can grasp the understanding of all the other aspects of writing an essay, although I may not incorporate them well in my paper at least I see why they are important.... [tags: Audience Definition Essays]
1045 words (3 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers his address The American Scholar to a Harvard audience in 1837, where he presents the three crucial aspects of being an American Scholar. First of the scholarly characteristics was the influence of nature, second was the mind of the past, and the last was action. He states that, “action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential.” He further states that that “inaction is cowardice, but there can be no scholar without the heroic mind.” What exactly does Emerson mean by the word action.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Mind]
1479 words (4.2 pages)
- Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson want people to realize and develop potential within them. Even though both Franklin and Emerson advocate the notion of self-realization, they come up with different ideas about success, and have various attitudes toward people who are not successful in their perspectives. Instead of believing “their foot shall slide in due time” (Edwards, 209), Franklin and Emerson view individuals as empires full of potential rather than lives managed by God. Franklin seldom goes to public worship, because “their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.” (Franklin, 580) Yet, he still gives money to some churches because he thinks the chu... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man harkens to DuBois’ idea of being “in the world, but not of it,” (vii). The text grapples with the concept of existing in the world yet not being authentically seen by the people of the world. The condition of the narrator, his invisibility, allows Ellison to explore double consciousness, the process of becoming aware of one’s duality, and the effects that existing as two selves can have on the psyche. The Prologue of the novel explains the unreal affliction the author has struggled with.... [tags: Invisible Man, The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- Only a few variations of carbon molecules truly separate organisms from objects. Yet this seemingly straightforward science ignores why humans, in all of their complexity, stem from just random happenstance, revealing that the science of life does not necessarily expose its meaning. For that answer, famed Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau look within the self, rather than a laboratory. In his Self-Reliance essay, Emerson hypothesizes the meaning to be in independence; whereas, Thoreau, from his venture in the woods in Walden, theorizes it to be in simplicity.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson]
1248 words (3.6 pages)
- The Audience Unveiled The value of a book depends on the audience. The audience values in a book what is useful. But what is useful to a writer may be junk to those who don’t care to write. I am a writer. I can use a book that gives lessons in writing, a book that helps me write better. I don’t find a book on dry-wall installation useful; it may be entertaining, but entertaining is not useful.... [tags: Book Audience Audiences Essays]
1212 words (3.5 pages)