Emerson And The American Scholar Essays

Emerson And The American Scholar Essays-24
Emerson uses tone and style to further convey his ideas to the public. I’d have to say that I do agree with Friedman’s argument much more than Herbert’s.The tone that seems constant throughout Emerson’s entire address is a confrontational one. Both of these writers were ultimately hitting at the same line of reasoning but the way each approached it varied significantly.Emerson’s idea was successful and is the base of what America still stands on.

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In 1837, sixty-one years after the American Declaration of Independence, Emerson delivered a lecture that would later be referred to as America’s “Intellectual Declaration of Independence.” The lecture, later written as an essay, is entitled .

The original address was delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge.

Emerson is confronting the nation on its continuous grip on England and European ways. Herbert seemed to have a lot of anger directed right towards my generation and I, I believe he is actually going against what Friedman said by “assigning blame rather than assuming responsibility.” I’m not saying that my generation should escape the fault for this increasing issue but it’s just not possible for us to be the sole reason, we’ve got to dig deeper than blame.

In Friedman’s article he uses facts to reason his thoughts, he doesn’t just blame Lady Gaga or Snooki like Herbert did.

Emerson uses nature as a comparison to the human mind where he states, "There is never a beginning, there is never an end to the inexplicable continuity of this web of God, but always circular power returning into itself."(296) The human mind is an object that is boundless and can be full of so much beauty and intellect such as nature can be.

Emerson continues to explain how classification begins among the young minds.At the outset of the address, Emerson declares, “Our day of dependence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands, draws to a close.” Here Emerson is cheering on a slumbering nation to wake up and seek its true identity.He begins by encouraging us to learn from nature, not only on a scientific level but also on a deeply personal level.This can cause a certain intellectual complacency and inactivity which Emerson saw and deplored in the American character of the time.By Emerson’s measure, Americans had come to expect intellectual advancement to come from Europe as it always had while Americans idly hoped they would passively benefit from the knowledge exported to their shores.Emerson was a respected speaker, giving at least 1,500 discussions on a variety of topics.Many of his lectures were later authored as essays and he penned poetry as well.Man is then convinced "that he and it (nature) proceed from one root; one is leaf and one is flower."(296) This thinking of man is the opposite from the truth of the relationship between nature and himself."He shall see that nature is the opposite of the soul....In nature, Emerson reasons, we find everything connected and in our observation of nature, we find a window into our own self-discovery.“To know thyself,” he writes, “and study nature become at last one maxim.” Continuing on, he encourages us to use books but cautions us from abusing them.


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