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Ralph Waldo Emerson - Research Paper Example

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Date Utilizing Metaphor to Provide Transcendence through Nature In Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson uses the literary element of metaphorical language to illustrate the theme of man’s acceptance of nature and the importance that nature holds on the foundation for a full life…
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Download file to see previous pages With that said, a close look will be taken into Emerson’s essay, Nature, to define Emerson’s use of the metaphor to highlight the importance of nature as an ideology for finding faith within a stressful and rigid reality and to explain why Emerson’s work is a fundamental example of pastoral transcendence and should be read by anyone who wants to achieve a deeper understanding of the world around them. To begin with, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Nature as an anonymous ploy to show the beauty he discovered; a beauty that man had only to look around him to find as well. He believed that “no power of genius…has ever yet had the smallest success in explaining existence. The perfect enigma remains” (Woodberry 109). In this, Emerson had achieved the impossible. For Emerson, it was clear that he had found a source of divinity within the beauty that nature holds, one that he believed most men were unable to see, and one that he believed most men needed to see and understand if they were to get the most out of their lives. More, that this level of attainment is so important to the life of man because not only do most men miss out on nature, but nature has so much to give if only men were to take one moment and view the true beauty that it holds. In Nature, Emerson “conceives existence as energy; uncircumscribed and formless it is God, conditioned and in the finite it is the soul within and Nature without” (Woodberry 109). In any other time in history, Emerson would probably have been called a heretic for his words, and even today his ideology that through nature man can find faith and divinity within the arms of nature may be unsettling for some. However, while his words may be taken in offence by some of the more church-based religions, Emerson brings up a unique point that man has the ability to find the warmth of God and faith just by walking alone in nature. This alone makes reading Emerson a worthwhile experience. So many ‘classic’ works, or works considered part of the literary cannon, highlight an essential function of human life and give the reader something to chew on. What Emerson offers is more. A reader can take his words for what they are—taking in only the beauty of his prose; or, a reader can reach a level of transcendence through understanding that Emerson has opened up a world of deep meaning and rich exploration. A world where God is everywhere and a touch of faith can be as accessible as the light breeze on a sunny day. More, what Emerson is illuminating is not to start a new religion or to have man misinterpret his metaphor as anything other than as a way for man to ultimately find God; and nature is simply that pathway. Now, Emerson is not defining God, either. It seems clear that he intends every man to have their own faith in whichever manner that they choose, it is mostly that he wants to offer man an avenue for finding the inner peace and solace that holding the faith of a divinity represents. And, getting there means that man has to let go of some of the hectic business of life and take a moment of silence to open up his very soul to the prospect of solace through the beauty of nature. This alone is like getting valuable advice from an unexpected place. Emerson is clever, by making man out to be a relatable version of everyman. His words make it clear that no man has to choose a religion to find the peace of faith and enlightenment, and he makes it accessible to seek a pathway to solace of the soul. In many ways, it is a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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