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The Rhodora Essay

769 words - 3 pages

Emerson’s “The Rhodora” is about a purple flower in the rhododendron family. Unlike its sister plant, Rhododendron ponticum, the Rhodora grows near bogs or unfertile and acidic soil. The Rhodora has no leaves and its blooms sprout directly from the stem. The Rhodora grows in solitude, away from other flowers that are considered to be immensely beautiful. “The Rhodora” contemplates the beauty of a simple flower and its effect on its surroundings. In the poem, Emerson’s speaker discovers that nature is beautiful and needs no excuse for being. This is accomplished by the uses of imagery, personification and apostrophe, and metaphor.
The speaker begins by using descriptive diction to illustrate the Rhodora and its effect on its surroundings. The Rhodora is seen not only as a flower, but as a focal point on the entire scene. The Rhodora is described s fresh in line 2. In lines 3 and 4, the speaker is awestruck at the Rhodora’s solitude. It spreads its leafless blooms in a damp nook, or lonely crevice of the woods. The Rhodora pleases the desert, which is a metaphor of a place of solitude that no one dares explore. At first, the Rhodora seems to be nothing more than a hidden flower, but the unknown speaker is captivated by it as he discovers its true beauty. As nature begins interacting with the Rhodora, the reader can truly appreciate what it does to the “sluggish brook”. The purple-petaled Rhodora “made the black water with its beauty gay.” As the violet blooms fall into the desolate, black water, it is suddenly brought to life and given human emotions. The black water is “gay”, or happy to have the comfort of the Rhodora in its presence. As a red-feathered bird cools his plumes by the black water, the speaker notices the relationship between the Rhodora and the bird. It sees as if the beautiful flower and the majestic bird “court”, but there is not equality in the relationship. The red bird’s eye-catching plumes are second in comparison to the Rhodora’s grace. Here, the reader begins to notice that the Rhodora is graciously spreading its elegance to its habitat.
In addition to illustrative diction, the speaker...

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