Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

1357 words - 5 pages

Ralph Waldo Emerson was a famous American lecturer. He was also a great essayist and poet. His writings ( which were part of the transcendentalism movement ) influenced American literature.Ralp Emerson in a lot of cases is referred to as the leader in transcendentaism.Transcendentalism was a religous, literary, and philosophical movement that flourished between 1836 and 1844 ( " Ralph Emerson ",Encarta ). When Emerson's essay "Nature" was published in 1844 transcendentalism was born. It was a movement which originated in New England ( " Ralph Emerson ", Grolier ).Ralph Emerson had Influenced transcendentalsim from the start. His essay "Nature" gave birth to it and as people read Emerson's writings it began to spread. In 1836 Emerson helped to begin the Transcendental Club ( " Ralph Emerson", Encarta ).Emerson also cofounded the transcendentalist's periodical "The Dial" in 1840. ( "Ralph Emerson", Encarta ). Ralph Emerson edited "The Dial" from 1842 until it stopped in 1844 ( "Ralph Emersooon", Grolier ). Emerson influenced transcendentalism by questioning the views of the way people saw literature, philosophy, and religion.Although Emerson contributed great things to transcendentalism he himself never actually accepted it ( Cantwell, 78 ). He felt if he did accept it, he might later regret it.He didn't want to be limited or controled by it. He wanted to feel free and able to express himself so he could say and write as he pleased ( Cantwell, 78 ). Even though he didn't accept it he still believed that he had responsibility and that he had the same moral sense, because of this he would still live his live as before. He also believed that he had a "strong religion sense" ( Cantwell,78 ).Ralph Emerson had written a vast amount of essays and books as well as poetry during his life time. The first published book by Emerson was "Nature" in 1836, which was the one that started the transcendentalism movement. At first it had been published anonymously without his name and soon sfter when it became popular it became known that he was the author. It did not get as much attention or notice as later works but it is said that it was his " most original and significant work" ( Magill, 19 ).Emerson's first volume of essays were published in 1841 and became some of his more popular writtings ( Magill,36 ) . These essays contained "History", "Self Reliance", "Compensation", "Spiritual Laws", "Love", "Friendship", "Prudence", "Heroism", "The Oversoul", "Circles", "Intellect",and "Art" ( Yennella, 19-40 ). In "Self Reliance" one of his most famous essays he "tells man to trust himself against a society that everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of everyone of its members." ( "Ralph Emerson", Grolier ). In "Compensation" Emersoon says that " in the nature of the soul is the compensation for the inequalities of condition." ( "Ralph Emerson", Grolier ). This menas that the soul compensates for the unequalness of condition. In " Friendship" Emerson talks...

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