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The America Scholar: Textual Analysis - Essay Example

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Name “The America Scholar”: Textual Analysis “The American Scholar” is an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson which was originally an address to the Harvard students who graduated with exceptionally high grades…
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The America Scholar: Textual Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Then he highlights the influence of history and readership in the next ten paragraphs discussing the influence of action on an educated scholar in the third section and in the last section he lays stress on the responsibilities of the scholar sharing his views of the American nation during his time. Emerson treats the American scholar as an abstract ideal who is to be understood from many perspectives. After greeting the collage president and members of the Harvard College’s Phi Beta Kappa Society, he moves on to focus on the American scholarly tradition in the making and expresses his views about an independent intelligentsia without an authoritarian European past. The rest of the essay is about Emerson’s notion of a scholar and the duties of the scholar to the nation because the more he is educated the better he is able to develop insight for the issues prevailing in his society. The remaining of the essay is more of an allegory which states how “one man” was divided into several men that made up the whole society. He then gradually moves on to develop this point and connects it to the scholar’s persona in an articulate manner. Starting off the essay with nature’s significance in a person’s life, he connects the past percept “Know thyself” with “Study nature” stating how both of them have become one maxim. ...
The entire speech is pregnant with discussion topics and hence deserves closer attention than any other speech which is usually pedantic and filled with platitude. Once Emerson praises and raises the worth of books and their nobility he reflects and doubts their reusability and states that “Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this”. His contradictions are also scholastic and profound in their own ways. Worshipping the literary canon without blurring the present scholarship is what he constantly stresses upon in a very assertive yet cautious manner (Emerson 1837). Emerson moves on to balance his argument by curbing the modern technology from worshipping the idols of tools which will not lead them to any creativity which reading can do for them instead. A constant search for truth is necessary and Emerson continues to lay caution against the reliance on idols. He defines the scholar as a being who is able to feel for others what he can feel for himself as an individual. If he is able to feel from the bosom and embodies the contributions from the past and the hopes of the future to impart the knowledge to the coming generations, only then he can be considered to be true to mankind. This assertion builds the essence of the whole speech. The ideal scholar for Emerson is one who constantly seeks for action and studies nature. Hence, the emphasis on nature is another thing Emerson does throughout the speech. The speech is an embodiment of facts and the way Emerson states these facts makes it even more intense and worthy of listening. Laborious reading is a task that he connects with the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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