American Scholar By Emerson Essay Research Paper

American Scholar By Emerson Essay, Research Paper

In the essay the American Scholar, Emerson portrays the scholar as a person who

learns from three main things. These things by which a scholar is educated are

by nature, by books (the past) and by action. Emerson uses nature as a

comparison to the human mind where he states, ?There is never a beginning,

there is never an end to the inexplicable continuity of this web of God, but

always circular power returning into itself.?(296) The human mind is an object

that is boundless and can be full of so much beauty and intellect such as nature

can be. Emerson continues to explain how classification begins among the young

minds. ?To the young mind, every thing is individual, stands by itself.

Emerson presents this idea as a negative effect on the scholar because they seem

to continue to break things down trying to find simple answers to complex

questions. Man is then convinced ?that he and it (nature) proceed from one

root; one is leaf and one is flower.?(296) This thinking of man is the

opposite from the truth of the relationship between nature and himself. ?He

shall see that nature is the opposite of the soul?. Its laws are the laws of

his own mind.?(296) According to Emerson, the next influence on the scholar is

the mind of the past, where he uses books to convey his ideas. ?Books are the

best things, well used; abused, among the worst.?(297) Books were originally

intended for good. ?The scholar of the first age, received into him the world

around; brooded thereon; gave it the new arrangement of his own mind, and

uttered it again.?(297) According to Emerson, books can have a negative effect

on the way the scholar should think. ?Instead of Man Thinking, we have the

bookworm.?(297) Emerson feels that the scholar should learn things for

themselves and not easily accept the views and opinions presented by a writer in

their books. He further on continues to state how books ?They look backward

and not forward. But genius always looks forward. The eyes of man are set in his

forehead, not in his hind head.?(298) Emerson thus believes that all men have

the capacity of being a genius. ?Man hopes. Genius creates.?(298) But,

Emerson does not encourage people to be genius because the ?Genius is always

the sufficiently enemy of the genius by over-influence.?(298) Emerson believes

that ?books are for the scholar?s idle times?(298) and the only subjects

that he should learn from reading are history and exact science. The action of

the scholar is important to Emerson. ?Action is with the scholar subordinate,

but it is essential. Without it, he is not yet man? inaction is cowardice, but

there can be no scholar without the heroic mind.?(299) Emerson wants the

scholar to learn but question everything. ?The true scholar grudges every

opportunity of action past by, as a loss of power.?(300) Emerson also places a

value on action. ?The final value of action?is, that it is a

resource.?(301) Through action man has transformed himself into Man Thinking.

?The mind now thinks; now acts; and each fit reproduces the other?he has

always the resource to live.?(301)


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