The Writings Of Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

The Writings Of Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

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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 idea in Nature is to utilize nature as a tool for deliverance from man’s sheeple, material thoughts and ways.
From the start, it is easy to see Emerson’s persuasive tactics. In the introduction, he challenges the reader to think beyond tradition scopes and move on from the past. He asks, “Embosomed for a season in nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe?(2)” Emerson also ponders on the theory that we are limitless in our thoughts by stating, “Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable.” He clearly displays his values of letting experiences and instincts guide man, as opposed to preconceived standards. All of these convictions were tied directly to the transcendentalism movement, to which he is deem the father of.
Transcendentalism heavily focused on liter...


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...hese theories for all of man. It encourages one to break free of the binds of the world’s ideal and puts matters into their hands. My favorite part is when he suggests the powerful impact that simply being in nature can have on man. He states, “The tradesman, the attorney comes out of the din and craft of the street, and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again. In their eternal calm, he finds himself. The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough. (2)” This makes me want to utilize nature in a way that I haven’t before to increase my intuition. Considering the impact it’s had on me from one read, one can easily say that Emerson is successful in his persuasiveness, carefully using imagery and metaphors to paint pictures of an new, alternative, and organic spirituality for 19th century Americans and beyond.

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