Essay about Ralph Emerson And Henry David Thoreau

Essay about Ralph Emerson And Henry David Thoreau

Length: 1248 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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. Writing Civil Disobedience later on, Thoreau would require that simple life be free of an intrusive government. But these discrepancies in detail should not mask the men’s fundamental advice: merely following intuition can achieve a meaningful existence.
That intuition must be first accepted by the person holding it, or else he or she risks living to another’s wishes. Emerson examines this trend early in his essay. As he begins the passage, Emerson first praises the nonconformists for not needing the guidance to understand their own worth. He writes to the others, “Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world” (Emerson n.pag.). Instead of offering one uniform definition, Emerson sets the meaning of life as dependent on the individual asking. Yet, despite each life being inherently different, all should start out essentially the same, with people accepting themselves for whom they are. They may not literally gain the unwavering support, referred here as the “suffrage of the world,” but those individuals do gain the self-confidence to disregard public opinion. This belief in themselves allows them to live their own lives wit...


... middle of paper ...


...ust grow independently to enjoy the world.
A meaningful life, much like the self, has no typical definition, basing its success solely on people’s instincts. Their intuition should vary with their friends’ or their families’, but it should also fulfill them in ways that other combined desires cannot. This unique print on the world ought to be defended from the pressures of society and authority figures, which can both attempt to squander a person’s moral compass for their own agenda. Ironically, in society’s attempt to define individuals’ ambitions for them, it weakens its own foundation: the people themselves. Society is started and shaped by the uniqueness of its people. It might as well start appreciating their citizens for whom they are individually. Maybe, then, will those people start doing it for themselves, even if they all are really just molecules of carbon.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Ralph Waldo Emerson And Henry David Thoreau

- The difference between a rock and a human truly just comes down to a few different variations of carbon molecules. Yet this straightforward science ignores why humans, in all of their complexity, stem from such a random happenstance. Only knowing this science of life has not necessarily led to understanding its meaning. For that answer, famed transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau look within the self, rather than in a laboratory. In his essay, Self-Reliance, Emerson hypothesizes the meaning to be in independence; whereas, Thoreau, from his nature experience in Walden, theorizes it to be in simplicity....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Strong Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Transcendentalism: Ralph waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote it and Henry David Thoreau lived it. Transcendentalism was a religious and philosophical movement developed approximately in the 1820s and 1830s. It began in the northeastern part of the United States. According to Paul Reuben, the movement began as a protest against spirituality and the intellectualism brought from England to the United States (Reuben). The movement’s core beliefs can be inferred in a single line, infixed good found in nature and people. They fought against the only two big institutions that influenced society in that time, the government and religion; which were said to pervert individuals....   [tags: Nature, Romanticism, Utilitarianism]

Strong Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

The Effects Of Nature On Individuals By Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, And Walt Whitman

- The effects nature has on individuals Not many individuals see what nature is able to do because they do not take the time to understand nature. People who are able to understand nature and understand life relationships are called transcendentalists. Some famous transcendentalists are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. These transcendentalists transformed their ideas into poems that were not like any regular poems. Nature has a big effect on individuals because it reveals the truth, lets individuals see who they really are, and helps with an individual’s personal life....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Henry David Thoreau And The Movement Essay

- Henry David Thoreau and Transcendalist According to philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Instead of seeing the world as an independent power that may lay waste to our purposes and plans, we can view it as a display of images or pictures created by us, rendering it harmless and even benevolent.” (Brodrick) The Transcendalist movement took place from the late 1820’s- 30’s. Henry David Thoreau was one of the two founders of the movement. He was a caring, ambitious, and nature-loving man. According to one biography, Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts and attended Harvard University because it was his grandfather’s Alma mater....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau]

Strong Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson 's Philosophy Essay

- Thoreau, under the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy, moves to Walden Pond to live amongst nature and exercise his self-reliance. He sought an individual and almost rebellious stance on everything, looking for truth in himself not social conventions. Thoreau lives at Walden Pond for two years and two days before moving back to “civilized society”- indicating that this was an experiment and not a life choice. Thoreau states the purpose of his experiment is to show the benefit of a simple lifestyle....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]

Strong Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Civil Disobedience, By Henry David Thoreau Essay

- “Government is best which governs least.” This single quote is the most important line of the short story and what also defines this short story as a classic.“Civil Disobedience,” by Henry David Thoreau, is a Thoreau’s viewpoint on issues that face the nation as a whole including the size of the government, how the government should be fixed, and social issues. These problems though are not just facing the nation during his lifetime, but also our life. Thoreau is known as a classic author through his life story and his work in the transcendentalism movement, but also with the themes in “Civil Disobedience” and the style....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau]

Strong Essays
1139 words (3.3 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson And His Life Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803. He was the son of Ruth Hasking and William Emerson, who is a Unitarian Rev. Emerson 's father died (May 12, 1811) when Emerson was just seven years old, only two weeks before he turned eight. After the tragic death of his father Emerson was left to be raised by his mother and other women in the family. Mary moody Emerson, his aunt, had a very large amount of influence on his young life. She lived with the Emersons on and off and kept a close relationship with her nephew Ralph until she died in 1863.Emerson had formal scholastic training for the first time at Boston Latin school and 1812 at the young age of nine....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]

Strong Essays
1597 words (4.6 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were both born in Massachusetts. Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. Thoreau was born in Concord in 1817. Emerson attended Harvard and then became a Unitarian minister just like his father had been. Thoreau also attended Harvard but upon graduating, became a teacher and opened up a school. Both Emerson and Thoreau gave up their careers to pursue Transcendentalist philosophy. Emerson was one of the first to start the Transcendental Club. Thoreau became Emerson's student after he had moved into his house....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
442 words (1.3 pages)

Views of Slavery and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau's Works

- Views of Slavery and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau's Works Two men, similar in their transcendentalist beliefs and yet so different in their methods of expressing their beliefs on handling the issues of society, were major voices in the anti-slavery movement. While their focuses are more on the subjects of morality and individual choice, they still reflect on how slavery should be addressed by the American people, American referring to the free whites who actually make the decisions....   [tags: Slavery Racism Emerson Thoreau Essays]

Strong Essays
1726 words (4.9 pages)

Transcendental Movement: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

- To trace the origin of the Transcendental movement one needs to go back to the city of Concord, Massachusetts. There during the early 19th century many well-known and world-renowned authors were following the practices of one man, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was considered America's first philosopher, had earlier traveled to Europe and became fascinated by the concepts of one German philosopher known as Kant. According to Emerson's understanding of Kant, there were two pure objects in the world in which are the bases of everything, nature and soul....   [tags: Emerson and Thoreau Essays]

Free Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)