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the rhodora Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Similarities in Nature

Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson are two obviously different  types of writers.  They both wrote during different times, Emerson during the nineteenth century, and Frost during the twentieth.  Emerson and Frost had different views on the poet's role. Both authors views were characteristic relating to the different time period in which each of them wrote. In Alvan S. Ryan's essay "Frost and Emerson: Voice and Vision" he writes "There is nothing about Frost's Conception of the role of a poet that is close to Emerson's."(Ryan126)  Emerson and Frost both had different writing styles, as
again described in Alvan S. Ryan's essay Frost and Emerson: Voice and Vision he says " Whereas Emerson prefers to be suggestive, to develop a few images or a series of briefly sketched scenes, Frost characteristically structures a poem around a single symbolic event.  Emerson's unifying principle is ideational, Frost's metaphorical."(Ryan127)  Both of these writers have their differences as all writers do.  A close look at their works will show that  Frost and Emerson  have similarities.
At a first glance the works Frost and Emerson seem to have numerous similarities.  In Alvan S. Ryan's essay "Frost and Emerson: Voice and Vision" he states that Frost and Emerson  "agree on the central importance of symbol and metaphor.  




They have a common preoccupation with rural subjects.  They share basic sense of 'correspondence'. . . ."(Ryan125)Also, these two writers are similar in that they both
tend to write about the same subject matter.  Many of the titles of Frost's poems: "Mending Wall,"  "Storm-Fear," "The White- Tailed Hornet,"  "I Could Give All to Time," and "Spring Pools" are similar to the titles of some of Emerson's poems: "The Snow- Storm,"  "Give All to Love,"  "Two Rivers,"  "The Humble-Bee,"  "The Rhodora."  These similarities are superficial and can be seen in comparing many other authors.  Where these two writers really connect is in their common interest in nature.
  Both writers have reputations of being poets of nature.  In Emerson's essay "Nature" he writes "In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than streets or villages.  In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature."(Emerson442) An essay written by Roberts W. French "Robert Frost and the Darkness of Nature" states, in his poems Frost always "seems to be participating in the life of nature, deriving sustenance from it , and finding in it a deeply satisfying source of pleasure"(French155).
 They both have similar theories as to why it was important for them to write about nature.   Emerson writes in his essay "The American Scholar",  "the first important  influences upon the mind is that of nature"(Emerson468). He also says that nature is a




"circular power returning into itself. Therein it resembles his own spirit, whose beginning, whose ending he never can find - so entire - so boundless."(Emerson469)  In
Emerson's essay "Nature"  he writes "It is not words that are emblematic;  it is things which are emblematic.  Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact .  .  .  . Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour and is not reminded of the flux of all things?"(Emerson447-448)    From these quotes it is seen that Emerson believed nature
was a force everything was connected through.  By understanding nature one can understand his own spirit.  Thus Emerson believed nature helped to clarify the supernatural.  Seemingly Emerson believed writing about nature brought him closer to nature thus bring him closer to his own spirit.
Frost does not go as deep as Emerson in that he did not believe that nature helped to clarify the supernatural. In his essay "Education by Poetry" Frost says " The figure a poem makes It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life- not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects as cults are founded on , but a momentary stay against confusion."(Frost77).  Frost believed that his poems helped to clarify life.  
However Frost also  believed as Emerson  that poetry helped to make the unity ... more

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Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne

The transcendental period of American writing was a very important time for

American literature. It produced many of the most famous authors in America's

history. Webster's dictionary defines transcendentalism as a philosophy that

asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material. What

that means is that spirituality was more important than material possessions. Two

very famous authors of this time were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel

Hawthorne.  Emerson was a transcendentalist and in his writings are many

characteristics of this time period. Three of those characteristics are nature, the

goodness of mankind, and individualism. Hawthorne, on the other hand was a

non-transcendentalist. In his writings, the way he dealt with the same three

characteristics shows why he is a non-transcendentalist.

   Nature was a very important subject of transcendental writing.Emerson quite

frequently wrote about a oneness with nature. Two very good examples of his

opinion of nature are found in his essay "Nature" and in his poem "The Rhodora"

In "The Rhodora" he writes "This charm is wasted on earth and sky," what he is

saying in that line is how something as simple as a flower is to beautiful and to

wonderful to be wasted on earth. He is saying that this flower has a kind of

beauty that goes beyond reality and that by simply observing this flower a person

understands the universe better. Emerson believed that nature should be

observed  but not disturbed and by observing nature we are learning more about

ourselves. In his essay "Nature" he writes "I am a transparent eyeball; I am

nothing: I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am

part and parcel of God."  What he means there is that he is simply meant to

observe everything that he can about nature and about the universe without

interfering. His being a "transparent eyeball" makes it possible for him to watch

and learn without being noticed and without doing anything to harm or interfere

with nature.  It is next to impossible to miss Emerson's frequent references to

nature in these and many other of his works.   He writes in such a way that

makes it very easy to understand his thoughts and feelings about the

magnificence

of nature.

  Hawthorne, however, had a different view of nature.  In his writings nature is

seen as an evil place where bad things happen.  In The Scarlet Letter the forest

is a place where many evil things occur. Mistress Hibbins frequently goes into the

woods where the devil is.  On a few separate occasions she asks Hester to go

into the woods with her.  Hester refuses because she has her daughter to keep

her away from further sin.  Hawthorne also showed a dislike of nature in his life.  

There was a short period of time when he tried to live in the Utopian community

of Brooke Farm.  He hated it and left after only a few short months.  He very

obviously did not like nature.  Which is a very big non-transcendental view.

  The goodness of mankind is another characteristic of transcendental writing.  

Emerson, like other transcendentalists, believed that mankind was basically good

even though they did bad things.  In is essay "Self Reliance" he talks about how

man is good and should be striving towards perfection and being the best person

that they can be.

  Hawthorne's opinion was exactly the opposite.  In many of his stories he writes

about hidden sins and he many times gave his characters some kind of symbol

that represented their sin.  In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was forced to

wear the letter "A" on her chest because she refused to tell who the other sinner

had been.  Her sin was not a secret but the sin of Arthur Dimmesdale, the an she

had committed adultery with, was.  Hester also kept the identity of her husband,

Roger Chillingworth a secret while he secretly plotted revenge against

Dimmesdale.  The townspeople are portrayed as hypocrites who judge Hester

when they have also sinned and therefore are just as bad as the main

characters.  The only good character in the whole story is little Pearl, Hester's

daughter, who is portrayed as an innocent ... more

the rhodora

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  • T: Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne T: Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne The transcendental period of American writing was a very important time for American literature. It produced many of the most famous authors in Americas history. Websters dictionary defines transcendentalism as a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material. What that means is that spirituality was more important than material possessions. Two very famous authors of this time were Ralph Waldo Emer...
  • H: Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Similarities H: Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Similarities Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson: Similarities in Nature Robert Frost and Ralph Waldo Emerson are two obviously different types of writers. They both wrote during different times, Emerson during the nineteenth century, and Frost during the twentieth. Emerson and Frost had different views on the poet's role. Both authors views were characteristic relating to the different time period in which each of them wrote. In Alvan S. Ryan's essay Frost and Emerson: Voice and Vision he writes There i...
  • E: Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne E: Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne The transcendental period of American writing was a very important time for American literature. It produced many of the most famous authors in America\'s history. Webster\'s dictionary defines transcendentalism as a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material. What that means is that spirituality was more important than material possessions. Two very famous authors of this time were Ralph Waldo Emerso...
  •  : Ralph Waldo Emerson : Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influence can be foun...
  • R: Ralph Waldo Emerson R: Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged by Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other wri...
  • H: Emerson H: Emerson Emerson Bazemore 1 From wise men the world inherits a literature of wisdom, characterized less by its scheduled education than by its strength and shortness of statement. Thought provoking and discerning, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a cynical world an unbiased perspective on human frailty. Emerson first and foremost was a poet. He has not written a line which is not conceived in the interest of mankind. He never writes in the interest of a section, of a party, of a church, or a man, always in the i...
  • O: Dead poets society and transce O: Dead poets society and transce Dead poets society and transce The poets are dead; Transcendentalism lives on Most people look down upon Transcendentalism because they do not know what it means. Transcendentalism is a belief in a higher reality than that found in sense experience, or belief in a higher kind of knowledge than achieved by human reason. Transcendentalism revolves around the existence of absolute goodness, something beyond description and knowable, ultimately only through intuition. The term Transcendentalism beca...
  • D: Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson D: Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influenc...
  • O: Ralph waldo emerson 2 O: Ralph waldo emerson 2 Ralph waldo emerson 2 Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature. He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influence can be fou...
  • R: Ralph Waldo Emerson R: Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influence can be foun...
  • A: Tim Baffoe A: Tim Baffoe Tim Baffoe ENGL321 Essay 2 Marjorie Justice Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Transcendentalist Ideal The early and mid-19th century gave rise to the Transcendentalist movement, and, thus, the anti-Transcendentalist movement. Webster's dictionary defines Transcendentalism as a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Transcendentalist, and it shows in the characteristics of his writing. Three of those character...
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influence can be foun...
  • Emerson Emerson Emerson From wise men the world inherits a literature of wisdom, characterized less by its scheduled education than by its strength and shortness of statement. Thought provoking and discerning, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a cynical world an unbiased perspective on human frailty. Emerson first and foremost was a poet. He has not written a line which is not conceived in the interest of mankind. He never writes in the interest of a section, of a party, of a church, or a man, always in the interest of ...
  • Ralph Emerson Ralph Emerson Ralph Emerson From wise men the world inherits a literature of wisdom, characterized less by its scheduled education than by its strength and shortness of statement. Thought provoking and discerning, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a cynical world an unbiased perspective on human frailty. Emerson first and foremost was a poet. He has not written a line which is not conceived in the interest of mankind. He never writes in the interest of a section, of a party, of a church, or a man, always in the intere...
  • None Provided5 None Provided5 None Provided5 Tn American Literature, Romanticism came during the New England Literary movement called Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism is a belief in spiritual truth beyond sense perception and material success. It is said to be a theory that highlights the transcendent as the realistic reality. In other words, this is a philosophy asserting the superiority of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and experimental. During the 1 9th century, Transcendentalism was a react ion...
  • Emerson Emerson Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was a leader of Transcendentalism which was a literary and philosophical movement that began in the United States in 1836. Transcendentalists did not agree with the strict ritualism of established religious institutions. They supported individualism and self- examination. They believed that they could understand themselves better if they study nature and their surroundings. Transcendentalists also believed in an Over-Soul where all forms of being are united spiritua...
  • Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Transcendentalist Idea Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Transcendentalist Idea Emerson, Hawthorne, and the Transcendentalist Ideal ENGL321 Essay 2 The early and mid-19th century gave rise to the Transcendentalist movement, and, thus, the anti-Transcendentalist movement. Websters dictionary defines Transcendentalism as a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a Transcendentalist, and it shows in the characteristics of his writing. Three of those characteristics are love of nature, t...
  • Ralph waldo emerson 2 Ralph waldo emerson 2 Ralph waldo emerson 2 Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature. He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. His influence can be fou...
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged by Somebody> Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many...
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged by Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other writers of that time. ...
  • Semester Exam Essay: The Rhodora and To a Water Semester Exam Essay: The Rhodora and To a Water Semester Exam Essay: The Rhodora and To a Water fowl Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Cullen Bryant, in The Rhodora and To a Water fowl use different ways to convey style but their themes and approach to tone are comparable. Bryant and Emerson both find meaning and wisdom from observations in nature. Conversely they differ somewhat in their style and tone. Emerson's style is, hardly archaic and less lofty in comparison to Bryant's, whose use of archaic words and more sophisticated ideas g...
  • No title No title Semester Exam Essay: The Rhodora and To a Water fowl Ralph Waldo Emerson and William Cullen Bryant, in The Rhodora and To a Water fowl use different ways to convey style but their themes and approach to tone are comparable. Bryant and Emerson both find meaning and wisdom from observations in nature. Conversely they differ somewhat in their style and tone. Emersons style is, hardly archaic and less lofty in comparison to Bryants, whose use of archaic words and more sophisticated ideas g...
  • Dead poets society and transce Dead poets society and transce Dead poets society and transce The poets are dead; Transcendentalism lives on Most people look down upon Transcendentalism because they do not know what it means. Transcendentalism is a belief in a higher reality than that found in sense experience, or belief in a higher kind of knowledge than achieved by human reason. Transcendentalism revolves around the existence of absolute goodness, something beyond description and knowable, ultimately only through intuition. The term Transcendentalism beca...
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson Properly Acknowledged by Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly took his place in the history of American Literature . He lived in a time when romanticism was becoming a way of thinking and beginning to bloom in America, the time period known as The Romantic Age. Romantic thinking stressed on human imagination and emotion rather than on basic facts and reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson not only provided plenty of that, but he also nourished it and inspired many other wri...
  • Ralph Emerson Ralph Emerson Ralph Emerson From wise men the world inherits a literature of wisdom, characterized less by its scheduled education than by its strength and shortness of statement. Thought provoking and discerning, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave a cynical world an unbiased perspective on human frailty. Emerson first and foremost was a poet. He has not written a line which is not conceived in the interest of mankind. He never writes in the interest of a section, of a party, of a church, or a man, always in the intere...