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The Relationship Between Man And Nature In Emerson And Thoreau. Part 2

1146 words - 5 pages

After the American independence, writers started to write about man’s relationship with nature, god, society which was called transcendentalism. Emerson and Thoreau were transcendentalists who had similar views about life and nature. As Thoreau was Emerson’s student they were both great writers who strongly believed in the idea of Self Reliance and God through nature, although they had their own style of explaining nature, their differences were of very little. This essay will however talk about the relationship between man and nature in Emerson and Thoreau. Firstly this essay will talk about Emerson’s view on man’s relationship with nature. Secondly it will talk about Thoreau’s view of how to observe nature in connection to man’s life.

Emerson believes that every individual has his own thoughts and beliefs and every man can think for themselves which he calls the ‘Man Thinking’. He mentions that there are lots of things that influence the human mind but “The first in time and the first in importance upon the mind is that of nature.” (The American Scholar,1837). Emerson says that to know God you have to know nature and that is the only way an individual can have a connection with God. He goes on to say that man’s life cannot be told how long it will live, in the same way nature also has no end or beginning, it’s in the whole system. Emerson thinks that nature has its own unique laws, in which if every individual studies nature the human mind will also have no use of laws that are set to limit the thinking of man from ‘self-thinking’. The study of science is all in the nature itself, Emerson notes that “science is nothing but the study of analogy, identity, in the most remote parts”.(The American Scholar, 1837). He compares the human soul with the flower and the leaf being connected to the root which is the soul and further states that nature and soul linked to one another as Emerson mentions “one is seal and one is print.”(The American Scholar,1837). By studying nature an individual’s mind and the soul will be free and brave without any restriction or no worries for anything that life brings in. if one wants to know god one has to study nature as Emerson stated that “he lives for us, and we live in him.”
Emerson gives the idea that nature is not like a toy that one forgets after the period of childhood, but it is eternal and reflects wisdom to man from the time of his childhood. He mentions that people own large area of farms but don’t know the beauty of it and goes on to quote in his Nature that, “There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet.”( Emerson,1836). He believes that one can be free only by studying nature and that “its beauty is the beauty of his own mind and its laws are the laws of his own mind.” (The American Scholar,1837). Emerson in Nature notes that “The dawn is my Assyria; the sunset and moon rise my Paphos, and unimaginable realms of Faerie.”(1836)....

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