The Criticism Of Ralph Waldo Emerson

2180 Words9 Pages
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. He was a son of Unitarian minister and the descendant of New England clergymen. This led him to become a minister himself and later quit to focus on his philosophy called transcendentalism. Emerson started writing in his youth and later attended Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard in 1821 he taught in a women school. The book of Anthology of American Literature says, “Like his philosophy, his writing seemed to lack organization, but it swarmed with epigrams and memorable passages” (939). Even though Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works had flaws, he “was nineteenth-century America’s most notable essayist” (Anthology of American Literature 938). According to Daniel G. Payne Emerson’s point…show more content…
Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, -- all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God" (942). The book Anthology of American Literature isn’t the only source that supports Emerson critic Eric Wilson say, “Emerson 's famous "transparent-eyeball" passage early in Nature is often taken to be an exemplary statement of the transcendental sublime. Yet, if we read it as a restatement of his vision in the Jardin des Plantes, we realize that it reveals Emerson as a sign in nature 's text, a hieroglyph, describing his own design, dissolving his own solution” (Wilson). The solution Emerson wanted was to find out who he was thru nature and still be divine. Emerson shows that it’s okay to find faith in yourself. For example, you have problems in your life, and you separate yourself from everyone around you. People tend to start this process of mediation asking themselves questions about the future, love, religion, and so much more. This is how you find who you are by joining nature and allowing yourself to be free.…show more content…
According to the transcendentalism, if God exists, He can be found through human intuition. In the book “Anthology of American Literature,” it mentions that “Emerson believed in a correspondence between the world and the spirt, that nature is an image in which humans can perceive the divine” (939). If a puritan was to read this, they would assume he was an atheist because it goes against Gods will, which they called predestination. Anything that was related to nature was against predestination, but Emerson didn’t agree with the puritans. Emerson believed that thru nature you still find God because he created the world. In his writing “Nature,” he says, “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship” (Emerson 962). He believed the more you emerge yourself with nature the more divine you will be, because God made nature as art. He also bring up the argument of if you don’t associate with nature then you don’t understand your surroundings just like you won’t understand God. In the writing “Nature,” he says “We are as much strangers in nature as we are aliens from God. We do not understand the notes of birds. The fox and the deer run away from us; the bear and tiger rend us…Is not the landscape, every glimpse of which hath a grandeur, a face of him? Yet this may show us what discord is between man and nature, for you canton freely admire a noble landscape if laborers are digging
Open Document