Education and Emerson Analysis

1. In this essay, Ralph Waldo Emerson describes his view of an ideal education. What are its defining characteristics? I believe his defining characteristics on his view of an ideal education would have to include the motherly guidance way of education, the teachers working on each student individually and the teachers inspiring the students to think for themselves by giving them encouragement for their thoughts. 2. In what ways is Emerson’s advice appropriate to a child’s first teacher – his or her parents?

Some ways Emerson’s advice is appropriate to a child’s first teacher and his/her parents is the advice of motherly guidance or a guiding hand. A hand that does not punish harshly, rather a hand that encourages a child to do things, not bad things, but encourage a child to think for him/herself, his is some advice that I think Emerson gives out to teachers and parents. 3. Why does Emerson believe “[I]t is better to teach the child arithmetic and Latin grammar than rhetoric or moral philosophy” (para. 5)?

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Emerson believes that it is better to teach the child arithmetic and Latin grammar because these are things that require exact and correct performance. These things will teach him/her how to learn and why to learn, they will teach him/her the power of performance over knowledge. 4. In what ways does this essay point out the education system’s effect on teachers as well as students? It shows how the teachers lose their enthusiasm to learn and to teach as more and more students come in and it also shows how students lose their hunger or enthusiasm for learning with the educational system at that time. . Why does Emerson criticize schools as bureaucratic institutions (para. 10)? Emerson says that schools drill things in your head, lose sight of what’s important and that they don’t inspire people to become better or be the next star of something like a musician, a poet, a reformer, someone like another genius.

Schools don’t have many inventive masters they have skillful tutors, of accurate and systematic mind, the student becomes more sensual and the moment when everything stops being natural and starts to be organized things get more difficult to happen. . Emerson refers to educating “a boy” and “a man” and uses masculine pronouns when referring to students. As a reader, does this gender bias affect how receptive you are to Emerson’s ideas? It may increase receptivity for me because I am a teenage boy but I’m not if it has much of an affect when compared with girls reading this essay. I’m not sure if it matters much. 7. Describe the adult that Emerson imagines would emerge from an education based on the principles he supports.

Emerson probably would imagine an adult that would emerge from an education based on the principles he supports would be hungry for the truth, would look towards the future and learning, would not be afraid to share his ideas but what know for the most part right from wrong, and he would have enthusiasm associated to learning. This adult be it a girl or boy will be a college of knowledge or a wealth of knowledge with their own thoughts and opinions. 1. What does Emerson mean when he says, “Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions” (para. )? He means nature loves similarities with distinct differences not the same thing over and over again. 2. Why is the relationship between “Genius and Drill,” as Emerson explains it, paradoxical (para. 3)? It seems pretty self contradictory but it does shed some light on his idea. The child wants to learn more and wants to expand his/her previous unheard of idea on to the world but must first understand it and to do so they try to learn from someone such as a master that can inspire their learning and help.

3. Paragraph 4 is taken up almost entirely by an extended example. What is Emerson’s purpose in developing this long explanation? Emerson tries to make a point of how to learn and what it means to be educated and so to do this he makes an example of his friend Sir Charles Fellow. Charles is a great example because his story tells the readers of what he accomplished, how he accomplished it, and what he achieved. 4. Identify at least five examples of figurative language that Emerson uses to advance his argument, and explain their effect.

In responding, consider the following from paragraph 11: “Alas for the cripple Practice when it seeks to come up with the bird Theory, which flies before it. ” Para. 4 last line “Always genius seeks genius… lend it aid to perfect itself”, Para. 9 ‘Tis so in every art… dealing out his treasures, Para. 11 “his patience could see… end of hundred years”. These 3 examples explain exactly how Emerson felt about how education, learning and teaching occur and they tell of what is necessary for a person who wants to learn; which is patience.

Things will come to you in time. Para. 13 “Now the correction… adopt the pace of Nature” Para. 13 “ He has a secret… give him time and opportunity”. These also are good examples that help show that patience is important in learning and growing. 5. What exactly is the “natural method” to which Emerson refers (para. 8)? The natural method Emerson probably refers to is the method of learning from peers and through learning from others you and the person teaching will have fun and experience things. 6.

Identify examples of the following rhetorical strategies in paragraph 13, and explain their effect: rhetorical questions, sentence variety and pacing, analogy, allusion, and imperative sentences. Calomel is used as an allusion to bring to mind something such as a disinfectant and to use it with comparing the educational system in a way to a disinfectant of culture. “… the whole world is needed for the tuition of each pupil” is an imperative statement bringing to mind the importance of the right sort of education Emerson is looking for. “reason and self… will ever come? raises to mind what is right and such. “omit endless… by steam” shows more importance to the subject and a rushed education being bad for the minds. ”it requires… and great” show the importance of patience. <Did this on paragraph 12 by accident> 7. Point out appeals to pathos through highly emotional and evocative diction. He talks of the mother and of nature and guidance.

8. Explain why you do or do not interpret the opening line of paragraph 14 as ironic: “I confess myself utterly at a loss in suggesting particular reforms in our ways of teaching. It seems pretty ironic in a way because he has been arguing about the educational system and to just say that reforms will probably not do much is pretty weird to read. 9. Why does Emerson believe that the “will, the male power” (para. 14) will be of less benefit to the child than “[s]ympathy, the female force”? He believes the guiding hand of a mother or a female is usually less harsh and can help benefit the cause more than the harshness of a man because the man’s will imposes his thoughts onto others while the women’s will lets the child grow his own thoughts. 10.

Rephrase the following sentence in contemporary language: “And yet the familiar observation of the universal compensations might suggest the fear that so summary a stop of a bad humor was more jeopardous than its continuance” (para. 12) Punishment to a kid for something he did by inflicting pain might be worse than letting the boy continue to do what he does. 11. What is Emerson’s purpose in shifting among the pronouns I, we, and you? I believe Emerson’s purpose for shifting among these pronouns are that these pronouns help him relate his ideas in a better way to the audience he is trying to give them too.

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