Emerson has a broad view on Nature; Broader than most other essayist •
Emerson focuses on understanding and learning from Nature; Theoreu only
appreciates the physical beauty of things. •
Some ideas are relevant to most other essays. For example, in Death of a Moth, the
idea of beauty in heroism of the moth. The beauty of its actions. In the Edge of the Sea, the beauty in the ever changing dynamic nature of things. Also a sense of infinite knowledge.
In Theoreu, there is a sense of the need to be a “transparent eye-ball”. Like that of a poet in Emerson.
In the essay Nature, Emerson suggests four uses of nature: Commodity, Beauty, Language and Discipline. Commodity, “the only use of nature which all men apprehend”, provides man with sustenance. They include, “Beasts, fire, water, stones, and corn.” The experience of beauty depends on the individual’s rejoice in “primary forms...in and for themselves.” Such forms include physical attractiveness, heroic actions and intellect. Emerson believes Language is strongly related to God’s words, and hence provided by nature. Indeed, “Words are signs of natural facts”, and “Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.” Lastly, Nature provides Discipline, which teaches our Reason and Understanding with “sincerest lessons, day by day.”
Surely, this is a broad definition of the word, Nature. I therefore contend that most naturalist essays are written as a discussion or appreciation of one of these four gifts of nature. However, most naturalist essays are unable to talk about all four aspects, since the area of discussion would be too broad. Rather, they more often concentrate on one of the aspects in their Essays.
For example, in The Death of a Moth, by Virginia Woolf, it was apparent that the moth that landed on her windowpane, being “neither gay like butterflies nor somber like their own species”, was not endowed with...
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