How Did Ralph Waldo Emerson Impact Society

Words: 1220
Pages: 5

Jenna Wollerman
Mr. Forman
English III Honors
11 December 2014
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Impact on American Literature
Through American literature, transcendentalism has impacted society’s views: however, one specific author initiated this development. Ralph Waldo Emerson was driven to alter his concept of society after the tragic passing of his wife. Although this event was traumatizing, Emerson continued to produce brilliant works that utilized nature, the importance of the individual, unanswered questions about life, and the connection between every animate and inanimate objects (known as the Over-Soul). Ralph Waldo Emerson contributed to Transcendentalism through Nature, Self-Reliance, and “The Over-Soul;” he was truly the leader of this
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Two years later, Ralph took up the occupation of pastor of the Unitarian Second Church. Shortly after their marriage in 1829, Ellen Tucker Emerson died on February 8, 1831 (Porte, Joel). Ralph was devastated by his misfortune; he could not fathom the spiritual reason as to why she perished. In order to search for answers, Emerson fled to Europe and studied beneath world renowned poets such as William Wordsworth, Thomas Carlyle, and many others (Porte, Joel). When Ralph Waldo Emerson returned to the United States in 1833, his ideals had changed entirely and merely one year later, he began writing …show more content…
“At the beginning of Chapter I, Emerson describes true solitude as going out into nature and leaving behind all preoccupying activities as well as society” (Porte, Joel). He explains that when someone is completely companionless within the confines of nature, he/she realizes the benefits of being separate from the material world. Furthermore, Emerson elaborates on the point that new aspects of nature continue to be discovered every day; humans can connect to and learn from elements such as the stars. In order to understand nature’s true abilities, one must engulf himself/herself and release thoughts pertaining to the materialistic society. Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that if one were to completely immerse himself/herself, he/she will become a part of the “transparent eyeball,” which connects every individual to nature. “There is a special relationship, a sympathy, between man and nature. But by itself, nature does not provide the pleasure that comes of perceiving this relationship. Such satisfaction is a product of a particular harmony between man's inner processes and the outer world. The way we react to nature depends upon our state of mind in approaching it” (Porte Joel). Essentially, humans utilize nature to allow themselves to grow and thrive; it is a partner in a development that cannot occur without the natural