Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays The American Scholar

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays The American Scholar-66
“The scholar of the first age, received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again.”297 According to Emerson, books can have a negative effect on the way the scholar should think.

“The scholar of the first age, received into him the world around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again.”297 According to Emerson, books can have a negative effect on the way the scholar should think.

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His speech served as the inspiration for many future American writers, artists, and philosophers to create their own ideas, without regard to Europe and its antiquated traditions.

To this end, Emerson uses literary devices to make various points in support of his overall theme. "But unfortunately, this original unit, this fountain of power [which is society], has been so distributed to multitudes, has been so minutely subdivided and peddled out, that it is spilled into drops, and cannot be gathered.

Often these devices are used to make an idea clearer, emphasize a point, or relate an insight to the reader.

In his famous oration , Ralph Waldo Emerson uses literary devices to communicate the theme and purpose of his speech.

He further on continues to state how books “They look backward and not forward. The eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hind head.”298 Emerson thus believes that all men have the capacity of being a genius. Genius creates.”298 But, Emerson does not encourage people to be genius because the “Genius is always the sufficiently enemy of the genius by over-influence.”298 Emerson believes that “books are for the scholar’s idle times”298 and the only subjects that he should learn from reading are history and exact science. “Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential.

Without it, he is not yet man… inaction is cowardice, but there can be no scholar without the heroic mind.”299 Emerson wants the scholar to learn but question everything.

” In the provincial Boston world of 1837, Lowell's “event” — a picturesque memory exhumed from the literary scrapbook and fondly patronized — gave promise of being an “event” in Michel Foucault's sense as well: “not a decision, a treaty, a reign, or a battle, but the reversal of a relationship of forces, the usurpation of power, the appropriation of a vocabulary turned against those who had once used it.” “The young men went out” from the church, remarked Oliver Wendell Holmes, “as if a prophet had been proclaiming to them, ‘Thus saith the Lord.’” As Rush Welter observes, “During the early years of the [nineteenth] century, men who were fearful of social change had looked to the activity of college graduates to counteract untoward developments.

This was especially the case in New England, where Phi Beta Kappa orators and other college spokesmen celebrated both the claims educated men had on their country and the responsibility they acquired to lead it. [T]hey appealed to educated men to act as the conscience of the republic and described a political elite whose influence would depend less on their scrabbling for votes than on their power to sway the multitude.” .

Ever since Emerson gave this now-infamous speech to the Phi Beta Kappa Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1837, it has been a cornerstone of American literature, defining the scholar’s role in American society.

In fact, Oliver Wendell Holmes, a famous 19th century American poet, called an “Intellectual Declaration of Independence” for America.

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