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Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcript of Ralph Waldo Emerson
In 1832 Emerson traveled to Europe.
He stayed for some time in England and Scotland, where he met with British literary figures, such as Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.
When he returned home in 1833, he began to lecture on topics of spiritual experience and ethical living.
Also, he began sketching out his philosophies on nature and self-reliance.
Emerson's as a Transcendentalist:
Emerson is truly the center of the American transcendental movement, setting out most of its ideas and values in a little book, Nature, published in 1836, that represented at least ten years of intense study in philosophy, religion, and literature .
He was thus to be greeted by the young generation who saw in him the new mentor of America.
A week later, he presides at the first meeting of the Transcendental Club, a meeting of New England intellectuals that includes Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller.
Emerson's Nature is one of their founding documents.
Emerson breaks his essay into eight sections: Nature, Commodity, Beauty, Language, Discipline, Idealism, Spirit and Prospects.
Emerson believes that solitude is the only way humans can fully adhere to what nature has to offer. Reflecting upon this idea of solitude, and humans' search for it, Emerson states, “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” Clearly, a person must allow nature to “take him away, society can destroy humans' wholeness. Nature and humans must create a reciprocal relationship, “
Emerson referred to nature as the “Universal Being”; he believed that there was a spiritual sense of the natural world around him.
Late in life, Emerson began to lose his memory and stopped making public appearances.
Emerson died of pneumonia in 1882 ,in Massachusetts.
on his grave, Whitman said: "A just man, poised on himself, all-loving, all-inclosing, and sane and clear as the sun."
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803 .
He was named after his mother's brother Ralph .
He was the son of William and Ruth Emerson; his father was a clergyman, as many of his male ancestors had been.
His father died from stomach cancer in 1811, less than two weeks before Emerson's eighth birthday.
Emerson was raised by his mother with the help of his aunt Mary Emerson.
Emerson's formal schooling began at the Boston Latin School in 1812 when he was nine, followed by Harvard University (from which he graduated in 1821) and the Harvard School of Divinity.
Self Relience :
It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines".
Emerson's Works :
The American Scholar :
In 1837, a class at Harvard Divinity School invited Emerson to speak. He delivered an address titled “The American Scholar” .
In this speech, he asked scholars to think independently , to strength American tradition of literature ,and not keep looking to Europe .
Oliver Holmes considered this speech to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".
This speech solidified Emerson's popularity and weight in America, a level of reverence he would hold throughout the rest of his life.
He believed in individual's unity with nature , the sanctity of the individual, the need to live in the present.
He believed that the slaves should be freed, he even said that no one should build a house without a place to hide runaway slaves.