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Comparison and Contrast of Emerson and Hawthorne

Nature comes to even more prominence in Walden than inEmerson's Nature, which it followed by eighteen years. Naturenow becomes particular: this tree, this bird, this state of the pondon a summer evening or winter morning become Thoreau'ssubjects. Thoreau is receptive. He finds himself “suddenlyneighbor to” rather than a hunter of birds (W, 85); and helearns to dwell in a house that is no more and no less than a placewhere he can properly sit. From the right perspective, Thoreau finds,he can possess and use a farm with more satisfaction than the farmer,who is preoccupied with feeding his family and expanding hisoperations.

Henry Thoreau studied Latin, Greek, Italian, French, German, andSpanish at Harvard, where he heard Emerson's “The AmericanScholar” as the commencement address in 1837. He first publishedin The Dial when Emerson commissioned him to review a seriesof reports on wildlife by the state of Massachusetts, but he castabout for a literary outlet after The Dial’s failure in1844. In 1845, his move to Walden Pond allowed him to complete hisfirst book, A Week on the Concord and the Merrimac Rivers. Healso wrote a first draft of Walden, which eventually appearedin 1854.

Emerson vs. Hawthorne Essay - 478 Words

His work is lighter, as in not as dark or depressing while Hawthorne seems to be pretty depressing talking about adultery and guilt.

In much the same way, Emerson often traveled to the homes of his thoughtleader contemporaries, although it’s likely that he let them know he was coming! In that same Cambridge lived Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, whom Emerson communicated with (by letters) frequently and knew well. A thoughtleader in his own right, Longfellow also networked with thoughtleader comrades of the day, joining Emerson, for example, at the Parker Hotel in Boston on many Saturdays for what they all called the “Saturday Club,” a no-holds-barred all-day philosophy fest frequented by a conclave of Victorian Age Boston deep thinkers. Regulars included Bronson Alcott (Louisa May’s dad), Nathanial Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and the esteemed poet James Russell Lowell.

World-renowned in the mid-nineteenth century for his essays and books, Emerson’s stature as a leading thoughtleader of his day was quite secure. In addition to buying and reading such books and essays as Nature, Self-Reliance, and The Law of Compensation, many of his fans thought nothing of embarking on a journey of many hours or days to make their way to Concord, Massachusetts, and drop in to see him. The present-day Concord Museum offers a rich account of a band of Harvard students who trekked out from Cambridge, Massachusetts, some 20 miles away, in a blinding snowstorm to pay an uninvited visit to the “Sage of Concord” and bask in his presence, asking him about subjects that were not covered fully in his books. And Emerson gracefully welcomed them to his hearth and spent the evening with them in study and discussion.

Nathaniel Hawthorne and Transcendentalism - Direct Essays

Tone is apparent in much of the American Romantic era writing including that of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe....

At points, both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne rejected violence as a means for solving problems, particularly political ones, but as they aged Emerson began to accept violence as an available problem-solving tool while Hawthorne continually searched for alternatives to enact change in the present and the future—no matter how necessary that change might be needed. Emerson's and Hawthorne's viewpoints on this matter were complex, and each man's progression of thinking is equally thorny and, at times, may even appear paradoxical. These two men struggled with their beliefs and how to represent those viewpoints, or not, through their actions, both public and private. While Emerson had begun viewing violence as an occurrence in humanity's collective past, and something he felt was no longer necessary, he slowly began to accept the possibility of future violence by intellectually connecting it to the past and specific historical occurrences. Alternatively, Hawthorne viewed human violence as a continual presence in contemporary and future time, not only a part of what had made people who they were but a part, also, of what would continue to shape humanity. Yet, Hawthorne's recognition of this facet never constituted an acceptance of violence as a necessary means to an end, even through an intellectual equivocation such as Emerson's. The different ways that the two men saw violence in the world allowed them to move in separate directions, as the nineteenth century wore on, when it came to the issue of political violence.


Bell, Millicent, Ed. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Collected Novels and Short Stories. New York: The Library of America, 1983.

Richardson, Robert D., Jr. "Ralph Waldo Emerson." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 59: "American Literary Critics and Scholars, 1800-1850." Ed. John W. Rathburn. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Research, Inc., 1987, 108-129.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter was first published on March 16, 1950, and was an immediate success.
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Project MUSE - Hawthorne, Melville, and Emersonian Character

What else did it do? Each lyceum visit, each carefully constructed and precisely delivered lecture, each rousing debate with a cantankerous farmer or feisty village highbrow helped him refine his own ideas as well expand the world’s knowledge of him. His talks made his books sell, got his essays read, and spurred word of mouth the next day at the water cooler (or more accurately, in Emerson’s day, the horse troughs).

Hawthorne, Melville, and Emersonian Character

Kevorkian notes that Emerson’s return to the ministerial role in “Worship” parallels his increasing involvement with abolitionism, and that the minister becomes a voice of progressive political dissent in Melville’s (1924).

Transcendentalism in the works of Thoreau, Hawthorne and Emerson

In notably non-polemical language, Kevorkian joins this effort by uncovering the profound importance of Christianity and the institution of the Church to the creative output of Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville.

Relationship Between Emerson And Hawthorne, And …

was a famous American essayist and philosopher, who was born on , . As a person born on this date, Ralph Waldo Emerson is listed in our database as the 3rd most popular celebrity for the day (May 25) and the 1st most popular for the year (1803).

Emerson's Essays and Representative Men Emerson Ralph Waldo

Margaret Fuller was the daughter of a Massachusetts congressman whoprovided tutors for her in Latin, Greek, chemistry, philosophy and,later, German. Exercising what Barbara Packer calls “her peculiarpowers of intrusion and caress” (P, 443), Fuller became friends withmany of the transcendentalists, including Emerson. She organized aseries of popular “conversations” for women in Boston in the winters of1839–44, journeyed to the Midwest in the summer of 1843, and publishedher observations as Summer on the Lakes. After this publishingsuccess, Horace Greeley, a friend of Emerson's and the editor of theNew York Tribune, invited her to New York to write for theTribune. Fuller abandoned her previously ornate andpretentious style, issuing pithy reviews and forthright criticisms:for example, of Longfellow's poetry and Carlyle's attraction tobrutality. Fuller was in Europe from 1846–9, sending backhundreds of pages for the Tribune. On her return to Americawith her husband and son, she drowned in a hurricane off the coast ofFire Island, New York.

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