Friendship Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

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"Really, it is beyond my comprehension," Emerson once said, when asked by a seminary professor whether he believed in God.

(Quotedin 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston.

Emerson claims that friendship is valuable, but being comfortable in solitude is necessary.

Emerson then posits that friendships have divine roots.

He returned to the United States in 1833, to a life as poet, writer and lecturer.

Emerson inspired Transcendentalism, although never adopting the label himself.Educated at Harvard and the Cambridge Divinity School, he became a Unitarian minister in 1826 at the Second Church Unitarian.The congregation, with Christian overtones, issued communion, something Emerson refused to do.The best of Emerson's rather wordy writing survives as epigrams, such as the famous: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Other one- (and two-) liners include: "As men's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect" (Self-Reliance, 1841)."The most tedious of all discourses are on the subject of the Supreme Being" (Journal, 1836).Often the beginning of a friendship is paired with a nervous “throbbing of the heart” and excitement, but as friendship progresses, nervousness at upkeeping looks and intelligence falls away, and “vulgarity, ignorance, and misapprehension” come in.Here, Emerson characterizes the nebulous and changing nature of friendship.He demolished the right wing hypocrites of his era in his essay "Worship": ". "I hate this shallow Americanism which hopes to get rich by credit, to get knowledge by raps on midnight tables, to learn the economy of the mind by phrenology, or skill without study, or mastery without apprenticeship" (Self-Reliance)."The first and last lesson of religion is, 'The things that are seen are temporal; the things that are not seen are eternal.' It puts an affront upon nature" (English Traits , 1856).(1841, 1844), Nature, Addresses and Lectures (1849), and three volumes of poetry.Margaret Fuller became one of his "disciples," as did Henry David Thoreau.


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