StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Comparing Emerson and Thoreau - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet
Emerson begun the transcendentalist thought by urging people to seek solitude to be attuned with their own self. Emerson urges to be your own genius, that is, “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men” and not to fall prey to the coercion of society to conform, which according to Emerson is the “hobgoblin of little minds” that conspires against the manhood of every one of its members'' (Emerson, ___). This can be accomplished by freeing oneself from living a “simple lifestyle” that is devoid from the trappings which the society impose. For Thoreau in his Economy book Walden, he clearly defined simplicity as by reducing his desire. Thus, in his Walden Pond experiment, he embarked on his social experiment that would give him a clearer insight about life and appreciate the experience of existence better through a grounded living. To paraphrase Thoreau in his intent to live in the woods of Concored; "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, 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 practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all 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". In essence, Thoreau argued that by living simply, he was able to “suck out all the marrow of life” because he is able to appreciate it more in the pastoral solitude of the woods. In its serenity, he is able to appreciate his profound existence. Its benefit, as he puts forth, is actually the advantage of owning more than those who are enslaved to work and those who subscribe to society’s fashion and mortgage for he already owns his own house, albeit modest. He produces more than he consumes. But more than the advantage of self-reliance that is facilitated by adopting a simple lifestyle is the internal independence that an individual acquires where the external world is dependent for its external manifestation. The explanation and paths towards simplicity may vary in approach with these two philosophers. Thoreau may have delved in the economics by of living simply but in the end, Thoreau reunited with his mentor in his thought by stressing Emerson’s non-conformity in the final chapter of his book Walden concluding as “a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away”. Walden and Thoreau may have delivered a minimalist message in their works Self Reliance and Walden but they are in no way can be considered a nominal literature because they were written in a language that characterizes precision, loft and insight conjured by a mind ...Show more
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Comparing Emerson and Thoreau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Comparing Emerson and Thoreau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
“Comparing Emerson and Thoreau Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times


Name Class Professor Date Discuss the philosophical importance of Thoreau’s social experiment of living at Walden Pond by focusing on its “simple” lifestyle as a form of Emersonian self-reliance. Henry David Thoreau’s social experiment of living at Walden Pond by focusing on the simple lifestyle was actually in consonance and putting into practice the earlier writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-reliance” who was also Thoreau’s teacher and role model…
Comparing Emerson and Thoreau
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Comparing Emerson and Thoreau"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

How the Writings of Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson Reflect the Transcendental Movement
The early to middle years of the nineteenth century (about 1836-1860) witnessed the flourishing of this movement which first began as a reform movement in the Unitarian church, following the views of William Ellery Channing, the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Henry David Thoreau: Walden
The poet is a representative. In trying to prove that the poet is representative, the work Walden by Henry David Thoreau shall be relied upon. This selection is extremely informed to a great extent. After reading the essay written by Emerson in detail, the poet comes out as a person who dedicates himself to understanding the world around him.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Primary Source Analysis (Between Emerson and Thoreau)
Thoreau would adopt many of Emerson’s ideals and himself enter into the woods in Walden cabin to achieve this heightened relation with nature. In addition to this tenant, both these individuals proscribed unique perspectives on human existence, including an increased emphasis on self-reliance.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
He urges us to reject conforming to conventional society that hinders man's opportunity to develop his unique self-identity. Although Emerson's views on self-reliance give support to personal idealism, they are fraught with romanticism and present over-used and impractical ideas for today's world.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
People usually elect their representatives who would uphold public interests and goals. However, Thoreau (1849) says “all voting is a sort of gaming like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Comparing Emerson and Thoreau
lved into transcendental philosophy through the exploration of the higher dimension of the self through non-conformity (Emerson) and simplicity (Thoreau). Self-reliance as put forth by Emerson and Thoreau is the independence of the self that does not subscribe to the “foolish
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The mountain discerns the vitality of life equally for a typical prey as the deer and in a natural threat as ferocious wolf in a balanced cycle of loss and self-preservation. Such personification attaches to
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Compare Emerson, Thoreau, and Douglass's writing
However, there is an inner thought that Thoreau shares in the fact that the people who are supposedly ruled by government are the government themselves. For this reason, it would just be out of place that a
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Primary Source Analysis (Between Emerson and Thoreau)
In addition to this tenant, both these individuals proscribed unique perspectives on human existence, including an increased emphasis on self-reliance. This essay examines
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Emerson and Thoreau essay
son that I can think of why Thoureau’s Walden is one of the most common assigned texts in high school and college literature courses across the country is because of its message and value of simplicity, confidence and self-reliance that it teaches. These values of simplicity
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Essay on topic Comparing Emerson and Thoreau for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us