Edgar Allen Poe (Poe) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (Emerson) are both famed romantic writers and poets from early to mid-nineteenth century. Their works are still some of the most studied and referenced in the present day. Both authors are famed for their writing and ideas, but their fame gained success each in their unique way. The two men had starkly different writing styles, and their views on philosophy were just as different. Both differences are evident when reading the two authors works. Emerson has an approach that based its roots in nature. He observes people and nature coinciding as one and brings out the beauty not just of nature but of life that others may not observe as part of their everyday life. Emerson has a passion for using his writing to better peoples’ outlook and opinion on life through his philosophical ideas. Poes approach to romantic writing is self-centered, and the way he portrays romanticism is in some cases dark. Rather than help the reader and their feelings; Poe writes about his experiences and his feelings through different avenues of writing. Both authors have a common theme in their writing. They both show an importance of self-awareness. Emerson's philosophical thinking reflects a Utilitarian approach to self-awareness in his writing called essays and Lectures. He writes “Who in the midst of a crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude" (Emerson, 263). The crowd in this quote is representative of all that is around us.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe are two of the biggest poets in American Literature from the 1800s. They had many things in common from their writings about death and sadness, because of their unfortunate losses in life, to the fact that they were both born in Massachusetts. They were also different in many ways. They were different in the way they looked at life and wrote about their experiences from it. While it is obvious they had many differences, they also had many things in common from their lives to their styles of writing making them amazing writers.
In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance,” Emerson calls for each person in society to be wholly true to themselves. He claims that it is most rewarding to the individual and the society for people to believe in one’s own thoughts and not in the thoughts of others. Emerson believes that conformity will ultimately lead to an individual’s demise because by living for others, people are not being true to themselves. Therefore in order to have a well-formed society, citizens should focus inward and have confidence in their own ideas before beginning to look towards other individuals; moreover, Emerson calls individuals not only in “Self-Reliance,” but also in numerous essays to act independently from conformity and to live for themselves.
Transcendentalism was an age of revolution. Not only did this age bring about changes in literature, but it brought about reform in ideals, religion, and people. Movements were all the rage---with abolitionism, feminism, sectarianism, communitarianism, and temperance beginning to flourish. With shifting ideals, literature evolved. Perhaps one of the best known authors of the transcendentalism period would be Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson acted as a mentor to many individuals, with his infamous Divinity School Address. However, one author in particular Emerson guided by introducing her to Goethe and encouraging her to borrow books, and that author would be Louisa May Alcott. Being from the same literary time period, Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson have similar affinities displaying Transcendentalist ideals in their professional works.
Emerson begins his major work on individualism by declaring the importance of thinking for oneself instead of humbly acquiring someone else’s belief. Emerson says, “To believe that what is true in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius”. The one who scorns personal intuition and, instead, chooses to admit others' opinions lacks the inventive power necessary for strong, fearless individualism. Emerson says, “Trust thyself,” a saying that ties along this initial section of the essay. This simply resembles to believe others' judgments is poor-spirited, with no inspiration or hope. An individual with dignity, exhibits originality and is childish unspoiled by egoistic desires but mature. Emerson currently focuses his attention
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1890. He was an American romanticism author, poet, editor and literary critic. He studied languages at the University of Virginia and married his thirteen year old cousin. Poe having lived a troubled life and losing his parents to tuberculosis at a young age, wrote many sad and morbid stories containing themes such as death, murder, insanity, paranoia, sickness, and tragedy. “The Tell- Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Cask of Amontillado,” all contain some or all of these said themes.
Both Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” emphasize simplifying one’s life by separating themselves from civilization. However, they had different ideas on how to achieve individualism. For Emerson, self-reliance refers to the commitment to intellectual individuality and freedom in which one has the courage to express their own thoughts and ideas rather than a conformed reiteration of popular opinion. Emerson demonstrates this by commenting, “…They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will live then from the devil’” (Emerson 238). Emerson’s point is to ‘trust thyself’, to do right by him even if others tell him it’s wrong. This way of thought arises from the belief that people are capable of self-guidance and self-rule. In order to achieve greatness one must stand out from the crowd, “It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of
Transcendentalism was a very influential and important movement of its time. It allowed for free thinking and a simpler life. Authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were the main voices of the movement, and they wrote about pressing problems of the time. The literary pieces, " from Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson and "from Civil Disobedience" as well as "Slavery in Massachusetts" by Henry David Thoreau, exemplify the society that they lived in, its government's questionable decisions and why you should resist them, and the need to be alone in the modern day. Ralph Waldo Emerson teaches us that to be alone, and experience nature to its true potential is incredibly important in becoming a better and more independent person overall.
In “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson states“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude”(553) Emerson encourages the individual to go against society. To stand in a crowd and stick out. On exiting the prison “never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like...than as she issued from the prison.Those who had before
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As stated in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Poetic Principle," a concept of beauty can only be achieved through the use of emotion, an "excitement of the soul," a necessary element to any worthwhile poem (Poe 8). Poe's fascination with the mystery of death and the afterlife are often clearly rooted in his poems and provide a basis for himself and the reader to truly experience his concept of beauty. Although also a believer in portraying beauty through poetry, Ralph Waldo Emerson found beauty to be eminent in nature and all things created by the Oversoul. Beauty for Emerson is not an idea or unknown, it is visible all around him.
Whilst reading several works from many transcendentalist and romanticist authors, I have decided that the two most captivating and unique authors were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe.They both created stories that reflected their movement closely, and had unique elements with multiple interpretations. From Emerson I read “Self-Reliance” and from Poe I read “The Raven”.
Everyone has their own personal values and opinions about how we should live our lives. Religions, the way we dress, the way we talk, and the way we act are all examples of this. Living in a society where we are ultimately able to do anything we wish, leaves us wondering and wanting to learn more about what we are capable of and how we can achieve greatness.
Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne were both American authors during a time of intense literary creativity. Many writers would read each other’s work and reach out to one another, thus sometimes developing friendships or even leading one author to be jealous or hateful towards another. In a review called “Tale-Writing” by Edgar Allan Poe, he alluded to Nathaniel Hawthorne. He stated Hawthorne had the “purest style, the finest taste, the most available scholarship, the most delicate humor, the most touching pathos, the most radiant imagination, the most consummate ingenuity; and with these varied good qualities he has done well as a mystic.” (“Tale-Writing”).
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau had similar thoughts on society and how one should live their life, however, Emerson lectured through his thoughts and Thoreau lectured through his actions. Thoreau felt that in order for him to speak with an authority on the subject of living simply he himself must live simply. He wants to show through the example of the spiritually rich life he led the downfall and possibilities of the life his readers have. On the other hand Emerson never talked about how he lived simply just that his readers should live a simplified life in order to become self-reliant.
“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men- that is genius.” is in itself a truly contradicting and false statement. This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson is saying how if you believe something is right, that it is right for all men. So what about the rest of the world? Do they all agree with everything? And what if another man who also believes his thoughts that clash with the first one thoughts? Not both can be right and having a personal automatically assuming that they are right at all times is just flat out hard headed, not genius. That is why I disagree with Emerson’s quote.
Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost influenced my thorough love of different styles of literature, particularly poetry. To the masses, Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Frost only share job titles, but the two poets share many similarities within their writing. Personally, I read pieces from both authors over the course of my schooling experience. I admired Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” from a young age, and that particular stole my heart since the first read. “The Raven,” became one of my favorite poems further down my schooling career, with its clear ominous tone that symbolizes much of Poe’s writing. Frost’s and Poe’s works may not seem similar, aside from the section in which their books reside within a library, but their work resembles each other’s quite well. Frost’s writing serves as a better introduction to poetry due to his easily relatable themes, his background connects to everyday audiences, and his use of modern language.