History, Friendship, Love, And Self Reliance By Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

History, Friendship, Love, And Self Reliance By Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

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“History”, “Friendship”, “Love”, and “Self-reliance” are all “slices” of a series of essays written by the renowned transcendental author Ralph Waldo Emerson. His essays are all pieces to a “Transcendentalist pie” of sorts. They all play a major part in the whole scheme of the transcendental view viewpoint and exemplify transcendental beliefs. The main focuses of these essays are all intertwined by the common ground Transcendentalism and its many facets.
Even though there are many points of emphasis in these essays, they all have one major focal point. “History” is one essay in which the focal point maybe hard to find or understand, but it’s there. History speaks mostly of one major transcendental belief, which is the universal mind or universal spirit. It states that “of the universal mind each individual man is one more incarnation.” This statement points out the belief of coexistence and the intertwining of every soul and spirit in the universe. Everything is connected somehow in a way that we cannot comprehend or fathom. “History” is probably one of the most difficult essays to read and follow, but upon further examination, the main point can be found. Unlike “History”, the remaining essays are fairly easy to follow and comprehend. “Love” is purely about the feeling of love. He tries to explain the feeling of love but only speaks of what he has probably seen others experience and heard others speak about it. Emerson states the love cannot be described but only experienced. I find it ironic that Emerson speaks to love so highly but so reverent. It seems as if he has never experienced love and is detached from the matter, spouting out mere speculation. “Friendship” on the other hand is spoken of by Emerson as if he has some so...


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...s flow much more clearly and do not confuse the reader as easily. I also found that “Self-reliance” was the easiest essay to read to me. The text in “Self-reliance” was the most fluid, but it also contained an abundance of stale metaphors.
Emerson’s nonfiction prose is another way that he expresses himself and his views on transcendentalism besides poetry. Emerson does express a level of knowledge on his subjects of choice and does slice up the “Transcendental pie” in a very precisely articulate way. He displays his beliefs which coincide with the basic Transcendental Beliefs. Emerson is a brilliant man, but is sometimes unclear with his many eloquent words and stale metaphors. It was a different experience reading his essays than I have ever experienced before reading different texts. However, it is my personal belief that he should stick to poetry.












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