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Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendentalism

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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 [1829] 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. After returning to America, Emerson gathered his journals and notes and published Nature. Emerson’s main…show more content…
Emerson, being a poet, uses imagery to spark thought and turn his theories into imagines. He mentions figures of the time when describing dwelling in nature, where he believes man is his best in, “Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape.” Here, he is suggesting that despite ‘owning’ land, we cannot metaphysically posses or alter land, but we can use it’s presence and energy for our influence and growth. He later mentions, “The wind sows the seed; the sun evaporates the sea; the wind blows the vapor to the field; the ice, on the other side of the planet, condenses rain on this; the rain feeds the plant; the plant feeds the animal; and thus the endless circulations of the divine charity nourish man.” He is talking about the everlasting cycle in which man and nature depend on one…show more content…
(2)” Robert Tindol reiterates this in his critism of Nature, explaining, “Ralph Waldo Emerson’s first essay, Nature, has been viewed as a reconciliation of the world of nature with the world of mind. A close analysis shows that Emerson was in fact attempting to come to terms with human fragility in a unique way by delineating the point at which the worldly and the transcendental are demarcated.