Saturday, July 20, 2019

Oneness in Walden, Nature and American Scholar Essay -- Thoreau Walden

Oneness in Walden, Nature and American Scholar  Ã‚   Some of the most prominent works which express a relationship between the individual and nature are undoubtedly Walden by Henry David Thoreau and the essays written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, specifically Nature and The American Scholar. In each of these works, an idea of wholeness, "oneness," with nature is expressed. Thoreau and Emerson both believe that man, in order to live a full, happy life, must live in harmony with nature. Both writers share several ideas as to how this oneness with nature can be achieved, and its significance. Emerson, in his Scholar address, states that nature is the most important influence on man and his thinking. Because in nature there is no beginning and no end, it is circular, or whole. In this, nature is like God, and like man's spirit, because there is no beginning or end to it, just a circular movement that creates a whole. We also see this idea of a whole in man. Emerson describes men as not many singular entities, but as parts of One Man. God created man as a whole, but with diverse aspects and abilities so that he may better function. As God created man as a whole, so he created nature as whole, and man as one with nature so that he may function better spiritually. In Walden, we are given Thoreau's perspective of One Man and nature. Thoreau believes he can better understand society as a whole by living outside of it, by living in the simplicity offered by nature. Thoreau and Emerson both believe that to transcend and achieve this oneness with nature, man must educate himself mentally and spiritually. While both writers recognize the importance of books and reading as a precursor to spiritual growth, they also both feel that one ca... ...nscendentalists, through their theoretical essays and literature, made a strong case for man to recognize the importance of nature in his life. Emerson felt that men who did not achieve this oneness with nature could not experience God or the Divine, and thus their lives were not fulfilling or spiritually whole. In Walden, Thoreau's main purpose is to celebrate life and to help men recognize the potential fullness and elation of life by making them aware of their own ability for spiritual growth. In order to achieve spiritual growth, or transcend, Thoreau feels that one must first evaluate his life and be willing to change it. Other artists of this time echoed Thoreau and Emerson's sentiments in their own creativity, their own journey to spiritual fulfillment, which only strengthened the premise that man and nature were one and that man without nature was not whole.

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