Analysis Of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature

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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature was one of the foremost works of the transcendentalist movement. Emerson begins Nature by questioning the way most people approached their understanding of the universe. He saw concepts such as organized religion, political parties, and other traditions as barriers to the truth about life. He asserted that, rather than look backward to understand and explain the universe, people should look at the present and realize themselves as being apart of the universe as a means of unlocking all of its secrets. The idea of the self as the same as nature was one of the most radical ideas of the time. In order to reach this conclusion, Emerson explored a few important 19th century transcendentalist ideals: the belief that people …show more content…
Taken to its logical end, the former idea implies that man should always and rightly doubt himself and his works. This 19th century idea originated from the christian bible’s story of Adam and Even. The latter idea taken to its logical end states that nature is less than that of humanity. Historically, natures’ only value could be found in its ability to provide shelter, heat, transportation and other tangibilities. Emerson rebuts these lines of thinking with, “In the woods […] There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair (pg 217).” Emerson’s ideas move away from the strict empiricism found in retrospective tradition. Emerson believes that all people are capable of the feelings he expresses in the passage, but through the idea of Original Sin, they are shut off to them. People focus on nature in a way that isn’t important to their spiritual well-being. Emerson attributes this feeling found in nature to nature itself, as well as his subjective view of nature. Emerson believed that there was nothing more meaningful than ones own perspective of each situation. This belief led to the …show more content…
“More and more with every thought, does his kingdom stretch over things, until the world becomes, at last, only a realized will,— double of the man (pg 228).” Here Emerson states that the world is exactly the strength of our perception of it. His "kingdom stretches" because it is all in his mind and what is in his mind is fluid and easily able to change. Historically creation was left up to God. Emerson argues that we are at once of God and God. The “nature” Emerson refers to is not only outside of the body, but also inside. This is how Emerson reaches his idea of God. The nature outside and inside are one in the same both created from the same god and as the same God, and for this reason our world is "double of the man”. We are beginning to see Emerson’s most important ideal emerge. This is the concept of oneness. The oneness of nature and man is a belief that many people have had throughout history. In America, the natives were seen as savages because of their belief in interconnectedness with nature. Also, 19th century slavery purported everything but equality between men. Therefore, this concept was dangerous to the status quo of more that one social arena. For Emerson, we are one because everything comes from

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