Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson versus Henry David Thoreau Compare and Contrast

Transcendentalism calls on people to view the objects in the world as small versions of the whole universe and to trust their individual intuitions. Transcendentalism was a literary movement that has writing at its heart. Writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau utilized the essay form.

The authors, Emerson and Thoreau, are considered two off the most noted Transcendentalists who represented the ideals of the Transcendentalist age. Between the two pieces of literature, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Ralph Waldo Emerson is the superior author based on his word choice, sentence length, and sentence flow. In Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson’s word choice is more relatable to today’s reader than that of Thoreau in Walden. Walden’s, by Henry David Thoreau, word choice relies on elevated vocabulary that distances the reader.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson uses better word choice because it impactful; it makes it seem so surreal that the right feels as if he or she were with Emerson. In the quote by Emerson, “in the woods, we return to reason and faith” (388) As he progresses through the short story, Emerson continues making real life connections with this reader. In contrast, Thoreau is unable to seem relatable because of his word choice. Thoreau’s vocabulary used in Walden does not relate to the common reader. In the short story, Nature, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson’s sentence length is astonishing. Emerson’s sentences seem to fall perfectly in line with what his story portrays. When you read Emerson’s magnificent and elegant work, his sentences seem to lead to the next guiding the reader to keep pace. On the other hand, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden extended and long winded. Readers feel like he or she needs to take a breath and Thoreau does not give the reader one. For example, the opening lines of Walden reads,

“I walked over each farmers premises, tasted his wild apples, discourse on husbandry

With him, took his farm at his price, at any price, mortgaged it to him in my mind’s;

even put a higher price on it- took everything but a deed of it- took his word for his

deed, for I dearly love to talk- cultivated it, and him too to some extent, I trust, and

withdrew when I had enjoyed it long enough, leaving him to carry it on.” (403)

Compare Walden’s opening lines to the more concise words of Emerson’s Nature, “in the woods, we return to reason and faith. There i feel that nothing can befall me in life.” (388) Sentence flow is how the author fits their words and sentences together and uses their choice to affect the reader. Emerson’s sentence flow makes the reader feel like he or she is moving in time with Emerson. This reader feels like Emerson’s words are like the ocean and sweeps the reader like the tide. An example of Emerson’s superior sentence flow is epitomized in the following quote, “standing on the bare ground-my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space-all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all” (389). Emerson pays close attention to all of the fine details and it shows in his piece of literature.

Considering all this i believe that between both of the spectacular author and this reader believes that Ralph Waldo Emerson is the best one of the two authors. Transcendentalism called on on both of them. And to put there point of view to the objects in the world as tiny versions of the whole universe and to trust their individual intuitions. Ralph Waldo Emerson word choice, sentence length, and sentence flow are glorious to the way he composes his piece of work.

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Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson versus Henry David Thoreau Compare and Contrast. (2021, Oct 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/transcendentalism-ralph-waldo-emerson-versus-henry-david-thoreau/