Analysis of Emerson's Nature
Nature, as Ralph Waldo Emerson describes, is an embodiment of all that is beautiful in the world. Nature itself is beauty, and humanity has created multiple mediums that represent different parts of nature. There is language, which has been created by humans to take everything that exists in nature and make it comprehensible. There is Art, which is essentially the creative version of language. It is a medium that exists purely to represent the world in a different perspective, almost as if to show a hidden truth of nature. Emerson goes on to state that nature is created for the sole purpose of serving man, that man may take what they will from nature and use it to their benefit. Nature also contains an aspect of morality in which man may take insight into what is right and wrong, because “All things are moral,” we can assume that what is found in nature must be moral. Emerson doesn’t stop with morality. He explores idealism by posing the idea that the human perspective of nature can be altered by the actions of man and that nature only exists as a perception of the human mind. While this is a possibility, it neither matters nor is provable. What is or is not a perception of the human mind is the only thing that humans are able to perceive so there is no way to know whether or not there is anything else. In Emerson’s essay, “Self Reliance,” Emerson states that genius is to believe your own thought. In society, it is a relative norm to follow what is popular whether it is the correct moral decision. He criticizes people for not believing in their own opinions and states that people may have an idea of their own but dismiss it as incorrect, then see it stated in a more eloquent way from somewhere else and take it to be the gospel truth. One of his most popular quotes is, “Trust thyself,” and by this he claims that in order to achieve success people need to realize that no one else is living their life so they must trust themselves with their future. Self-reliance is not just about trusting yourself, it is about dismissing the conformity that occurs all around the world in any different culture and not accepting truth by what is popular.