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  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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Analysis of the Poems and Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson The thoughts and feelings of Ralph Waldo Emerson are uplifting, empowering and can make one feel like their actions matter in a world surrounded by cynicism and despair. His poem "Give all to love" hints briefly at the pain he experienced in his life and his views on love and the human experience. It also demonstrates the style of writing of the transcendentalists. In order to understand Emerson's writing one must first understand the man.... [tags: Papers]
940 words (2.7 pages)
- The name Ralph Waldo Emerson resonates in my mind as that of a man who possessed the unique and incredible power to uplift, provoke thought, and inspire with his words. I have an unchanging image of Emerson in my thoughts as a modern-day Socrates: a man who questions all in search of something, anything that will explain that which has not yet been explained. The answers Emerson provides for the questions he poses serve as guidelines rather than concrete instructions, for he encourages his audience to think, to wonder, to ask, and to be wrong – forever searching for the correct answers to perhaps even questions not yet posed.... [tags: fate, destiny, writing style]
1221 words (3.5 pages)
- The theme of individualism is present in many of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s works. This was not only the theme of his writings but, also his philosophical views on how to live life. He believed that human beings had amazing capabilities, more than they can possibly know about. With these capabilities a person should govern themselves, not be governed by a society. He also believed that nature played a large role on how man should act and to follow natures actions of growing freely. This is why he lead the Transcendentalism movement in the nineteenth century along with Theodore Parker, Frederic Henry Hedge, Amos Bronson Alcott, Margaret Fuller and Henry David Thoreau.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]
891 words (2.5 pages)
- Religion is generally viewed as a common belief shared by a group of people. These groups then create dogmas and doctrines that are to be followed and perceived as true. From the doctrines rituals and rites form leading to a sense of unity through initiation. Once a person is initiated they are granted membership into the religion and are given a sense of belonging. The sense of being part of a bigger picture is a commonality found in all humans. The usual uniting factor that binds people to a religion is the belief in the same higher being, usually called God, or Gods.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]
1002 words (2.9 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers his address The American Scholar to a Harvard audience in 1837, where he presents the three crucial aspects of being an American Scholar. First of the scholarly characteristics was the influence of nature, second was the mind of the past, and the last was action. He states that, “action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential.” He further states that that “inaction is cowardice, but there can be no scholar without the heroic mind.” What exactly does Emerson mean by the word action.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Mind]
1479 words (4.2 pages)
- Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson want people to realize and develop potential within them. Even though both Franklin and Emerson advocate the notion of self-realization, they come up with different ideas about success, and have various attitudes toward people who are not successful in their perspectives. Instead of believing “their foot shall slide in due time” (Edwards, 209), Franklin and Emerson view individuals as empires full of potential rather than lives managed by God. Franklin seldom goes to public worship, because “their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.” (Franklin, 580) Yet, he still gives money to some churches because he thinks the chu... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- In the American culture, one of the minds that has helped developed the identity of the American Literature was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson wrote many literary works such as “Self – Reliance”, “The American Scholar”, and “Nature”. In the works Emerson creates the idea of how the American identity should be structured and how scholars and students can go about making this identity. The main point that comes out through a lot of his writing is that one can create the American identify through that of the mind.... [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson]
2198 words (6.3 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman are two of the most iconic American poets of the 19th century. Emerson and Whitman were both revolutionaries in American poetry, in their own time and their own right. When Emerson released his piece “The Poet,” a writing that challenged all of the American poets to become, as he put it, the next “Great American Poet,” which would address all of “the facts of the animal economy, sex, nutriment, gestation, birth.” Of all the poets that read Emerson’s piece, Whitman was the one who decided to “put the living, breathing, sexual body at the center of much of his poetry, challenging conventions of the day” (“Walt Whitman”, The Norton Anthology of American Lit... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman]
1223 words (3.5 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts. Early in his life, Emerson followed in the footsteps of his father and became minister, but this ended in 1832 when he felt he could no longer serve as a minister in good conscience. He experienced doubts about the Christian church and its doctrine. These reservations were temporarily alleviated by his brief association with Unitarianism, but soon Emerson became discontent with even their decidedly liberal interpretation of Christianity.... [tags: People Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography Essays]
1317 words (3.8 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Man Thinking By the early 1800’s, a new sense of literary freedom was present in America. The colonial writers of the past were heavily influenced by their European roots, and the limits of technology had kept printed literature from great diversification. By the late 1700’s however, American population was exploding, the printed word had become much more accessible, and the newfound freedom from Britain created an environment perfect for the spread of new ideas. The search for a national identity and a spirit of nonconformity had entered the hearts of many Americans, such as writers David Hume, Henry David Thoreau, George Putnam, and Frederick Henry Hedge.... [tags: Transcendentalist movement, poet, essayist]
1628 words (4.7 pages)
- My Campaign For President Obama 's 2012 Campaign
- How Does Seward Expand The Antislavery Argument Beyond The Moral Appeal Of The Abolitionist?
- The Exploitation Of Artists Under Major Record Labels
- My Experience With My Career
- Analysis Of Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet '
- Hurricane Katrin Hurricane Devastation