Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. Apart from a philosopher, he was also a naturalist who loved to lead a natural and simple life. He gave importance to nature and reasoned out why people should develop their relationship with the environment (Deep Spirits, 2014). Thoreau was born in Concord in 1817 (Semihatopal, 2009). He was an ecological prophet who viewed Earth as living sphere and nature as a perfect unity (Deep Spirits, 2014). Both of them were born in early 19th century and supposed to have experienced the similar ways of their lives. These two authors were similar in many ways: both of them loved to spend most of their time outdoors, they lived in the wooded areas, their love for nature, their dislikes towards government, both were rational thinkers, both were nonconformist, both of them were great writers, both believed in individualism, both followed almost same principles and both of them were more than a philosopher because they were transcendentalists (who strongly believed in the power of the individual), (Drisoce.C, 2009). The reason why these two great writers believed and had similar motto could be due to their teacher-student relationship, teacher (Emerson) and student (Thoreau) and also would be because of their love for nature because Emerson believed the truth in nature and Thoreau studied nature. Both of them are the founders of transcendentalism and also they were considered two of the most influential writers in the US society then. However, this essay is going to discuss on the different views, but same principle Emerson and Thoreau had for
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man and nature with regard to their strong belief in the sense of “individualism”, “self reliance”, and “civil disobedience”. This essay will also argue based on the examples provided by Emerson and Thoreau in their American Scholar and Where I lived, and what I lived for, and their essays; “self reliance” and “civil disobedience” to show the relationship between man and nature.
Emerson and Thoreau strongly believed in the relationship between man and nature. Both writers stressed more on the importance of man and nature and they appreciated their views on “self reliance” and “individualism” (Semihatopal, 2009). Emerson believed that each individual had "a spark of divinity”, and that people should seek the truths in nature. Thoreau on the other hand also thought that, “one can only be happy if you live as who you truly are” (Drisoce.C, 2009). According to Emerson in his American Scholar, “The world is nothing, the man is all”. He is basically trying to say that world is nothing compared to man because a man has various roles to play in life and that is true because without the existence of men and their everyday activities in the world, the world remains valueless and has no role to play. Hence, man plays a key role in creating their world so, man has to be self reliant to decide and to carry out his work in connection to nature with the...