– Emerson And Thoreau Essay, Research Paper
Tranquility in Nature
Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson are the two authors that I chose mainly because their ideas about nature are similar. Thoreau and Emerson were both writers who got their start writing during the nineteenth century. Their views on nature are similar, but as with every writer they show some view of different ideas that make them unique in some special way.
In two completely different stories Thoreau and Emerson showed that the woods was the place in nature that they wanted to be in order for them to find themselves. Emerson believed the woods gave the feeling of perpetual youth. “In the woods, is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival I dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befal me in life,-no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes,) which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground ,-my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,-all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all. The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle from God. The name of the nearsest friend sounds foreign and accidental. To be brothers, to be acquaintances,-master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immoral beauty. In the wilderness I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.”(995-996) Emerson believed that something better was in the woods, something that was tranquil, peaceful and beautiful, an area that God could be found.
Henry David Thoreau was also a man who loved nature and the woods. As an author, Thoreau describes his life on Walden pond in Massachusetts which gave him the ability to grasp nature in its picturesque and peaceful environment. “I went to the woods because I wished to live desperately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”(1766) This quotation shows how Thoreau wanted to live and discover himself in the beauty and tranquility of nature.
In conclusion, both Emerson and Thoreau believed that the tranquility of nature is needed to complete a person and to make them appreciate life to the fullest. The “woods” meant everything to the both authors and they spent the best years of their lives appreciating the beauty and tranquility of nature. Both authors believed in God and his impact on them and his beauty in nature. This paper has made me realize that you have to enjoy what is naturally ours and not worry about the problems in our fast paced world.