Analysis Of Apology And Emerson's The American Scholar

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In both Plato’s “Apology” and Emerson’s “The American Scholar”, the two authors focus on a similar topic: the characteristics and examples of a man thinking. Emerson discusses the American Scholar, also known as the “man thinking”. A “man thinking” is rare in a community. This individual is one who thinks outside of the norms and is not easily influenced by society’s common beliefs. In Plato’s Apology, Plato presents Socrates whose actions allow us to believe that he is an example of a “man thinking”. Plato’s writing discusses Socrates experience, decisions, thoughts, and actions while he is on trial. I will evaluate Emerson’s detailed description and arguments regarding a “man thinking” and outline the similarities between Socrates and a “man …show more content…
Emerson argues that the “men thinking” should not have too many fears. This idea is established as the “man thinking” is the elite who is not as ignorant as many people in the society. Emerson believes that, “Brave; for fear is a thing, which a scholar by his very function puts behind him. Fear always springs from ignorance" (233). In this quote, Emerson explains how fear erupts due to ignorance and lack of knowledge. Emerson relates this to how a scholar does not fear because he is knowledgeable and his knowledge allows him to be brave and confident about his actions and solutions. I think that Emerson is trying to say that while others would be dwelling on their unease, a “man thinking” would, instead, look at situations from a critical and observational view. Unlike mere thinkers, these scholars and men thinkers will try to understand the nature of the situation instead of being subordinate to its action is a like a thinking man. In this quote, Emerson introduces and contrasts bravery and fear. He explains how a “man thinking” hides and diminishes fear in many occasions because of his knowledge and confidence. Emerson’s use of “always” establishes how certain Emerson is that mere thinkers will always fear and will not learn. Overall, Emerson makes a contrast on how a “man thinking” will be brave, while a “mere-thinker” will likely be suffering from fear. He has one straightforward explanation to this drastic difference between the two types of people:

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