Ralph Waldo Emerson Analysis

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Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a speech to the men of the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge University entitled “The American Scholar” in 1837. The speech focused on the main ideas of transcendentalism as well as how different factors in society affect man’s ability to realize that they are their own individuals. Harold Bloom, a well known literary critic who evaluated topics such as the bible and Shakespeare, believed that Emerson’s writing was the template for all future authors. Bloom believed that adversity allows people to have a deeper understanding of the world. However, Emerson focused on the loss of knowledge in the society due to the misunderstanding of younger generations in his time period while Bloom mainly focused on how Emerson's views on individualism and transcendentalism affected all writing whether admitted or not. Harold Bloom was correct in his critique, “Out of Panic, Self Reliance” published in 2008, when he confirmed Ralph Waldo Emerson's view point in his speech “The American Scholar” (1837) stating that overcoming adversity is an essential part to gaining wisdom and forming self- reliance by comparing it to current political events in order to show once again that Ralph Waldo Emerson was very influential to not only authors but to the overall evolution of man’s thoughts. It can be inferred from Emerson that the adversity that he so deeply describes throughout his speech could be man’s eternal struggle to discover his own self-reliance and experience real-world connections instead of just reading about them and not fully understanding or even comprehending the meaning of what is being read. Ralph Waldo Emerson separates society into two groups known as “Man Thinking” ( Emerson 2) who has allowed himself to be open to new ways of life and understanding and “Mere thinkers” (Emerson 2) who simply follow the trends and patterns society without any thought of their own. He believes the Mere thinkers are inevitable lost in adversity and do not fully understand transcendentalist ideas. Nevertheless, it will never be too late to find self-reliance and contribute an opinion to the world thus diversifying society.
When people finally rise above adversity they recognize the god within themselves
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