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The Conduct of Life - Wikipedia
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Analysis of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Nature"
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Nature essay by ralph waldo emerson summary - WISR AM - Butler, PA
Concerned initially with how we reflect on solitude, the stars, and the grandeur of nature, this chapter turns from the universal world, symbolized in the stars that Emerson views at night, and focuses on how we perceive objects around us. Emerson speaks of the landscape in which he walks and how he, as a poet, can best integrate all that he sees.
What is most important in this sequence is the similar ways we perceive the various objects — stars, the landscape, and the poet. Added to this theme is a second one, the theme of accessibility. Using stars as symbols of the universe, Emerson states that we take stars for granted because they are always present in our lives, no matter where we live. However, although they are accessible because we can see them, they are also inaccessible: Their distance from us makes them more elusive than we might imagine.
Emerson then moves from commenting on the faraway stars to discussing the immediate landscape around him.
Creating a bond between stars and the landscape, he furthers the theme of a chain linking everything in the universe. Just as stars are accessible to all who will take the time to gaze at them, so too is the everyday landscape around us. He introduced himself to Emerson, who became an important friend and mentor to him. Thoreau lived with the Emerson family for a few years, earning his keep with handyman jobs and babysitting. In , Emerson hired him to plant trees on a denuded piece of property he owned on Walden Pond in Concord.
Thoreau built a cabin and lived at the pond for two years, an experience he documented in his classic Walden. On 20 March , Emerson's first collection of essays was published. He outlined the transcendental belief in a common spirit uniting all beings, one adapted from Eastern religious readings popular among the Concord set. He was advocating for a new American ideology, one that broke with the do-as-been-done tradition of the past.
Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world," Emerson wrote. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. Read that last excerpt from Self-Reliance carefully, and see how it could be interpreted to mean that you should do whatever you want, whenever you want to, regardless of the impact on others. His critics at the time and in decades since charged that Emerson completely overlooked the fact that for an evil-minded person, such advice could be dangerous.