The Development of Thinkers in Emerson’s The American Scholar

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Emerson uses the text of his essay to trigger a response in the American writers, intellectuals and scholars. He begins with criticism of the fragmentation of society in terms of occupations and mercantile classes. He considers it a roadblock to true progress of society. He encourages them to celebrate their inner truths and put it on paper. He asks them to throw of the yoke of European intellectuals and begin an era of American creation. They need to be original and independent in their thoughts, understanding and production of literature and knowledge. Self-reliance is the guiding principle of nature and every man needs to become self reliant in order to unlock his true potential.

Understanding one’s own nature and mental process holds the key to developing original writers. This is linked to the inextricably relationship between one’s mind and soul. Therefore, when people read other classics, books or thesis, they should critically evaluate it rather than trying to worship it by copying it. They need to spurn the prison of the past. Our soul and spirit are manifestations of our link with the divine. Books can help when one is unable to connect with the spirit within. This is books have a tendency to arrest self-realization and immortalize concepts as permanent markers of reality. They also tend to differentiate between the aesthetic and the rejected, which can be troublesome for the creative process of an independent individual. However, they have a purpose as far as invoking and vitalizing response, inspiring minds and empowering thinkers.

Apart from nature and books, we are influenced by the experience. Until one can act and experience heroic sacrifices and emotions, he cannot write a treatise on heroism or tenacity. Actions are important to provide the credibility to the words. Emerson asserts the importance of responsibilities and duties that a scholar must adhere to. Every great mind must have a purpose grater that his own pursuit of excellence. He encourages every scholar to trust their own abilities and instincts in order to become a beacon of understanding and assurance for others. Only when simple minds can see greatness and unity with the universal within themselves, we can grow as a whole. We can transform and progress as civilization and society only when great individuals can assert and use their originality and unfiltered instincts for greater good. Such autonomy of the individual is crucial for collective growth.


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