Presentation on theme: "An introduction to Ralph Waldo Emerson The Transcendentalists Mrs. Jimenez English III."— Presentation transcript:
An introduction to Ralph Waldo Emerson The Transcendentalists Mrs. Jimenez English III
Ralph Waldo Emerson b Known as the “Father of Transcendentalism” b Mentor to Henry David Thoreau
Emerson wrote essays b It is not what an author writes which makes him remembered, it is what he has to say…Emerson does not use the guise of storytelling. He writes his philosophy straightforward.
Titles of his essays... b Self-Reliance b Love b Friendship b Nature b Intellect b Art b Experience b The Over-Soul b Character b Gifts b Politics b Compensation b Heroism b and more!
A word on Emerson’s Essays “I read and reread Emerson because he is that almost extinct species, the reflective man of letters, the meditative essayist, the thoughtful writer of a prose which has…the magical effects of poetry.” ---Irwin Edman
A short Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson Essayist, poet, philosopher...
I. Emerson’s Childhood b Born on May 25, 1803 b Fourth of eight children (3 died in infancy) b Father, William Emerson, was the sixth in a line of ministers b Strict, frugal household
I. Emerson’s Childhood Cont’d b Father died when Emerson was eight years old b His paternal aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, moved in to help with the children and became Emerson’s intellectual role model. b Mary Moody Emerson identified with the new views of the Romantic Age
II. Emerson’s Education b At the age of fourteen Emerson entered Harvard b He was “Class Poet”--after six classmates declined b Graduated in the middle of his class--30th out of 59 students
II. Emerson’s Education cont’d b More important was his informal education, both intellectual and emotional
III. Minister/Unitarianism b Emerson served as a guest minister for many years b In 1829 Emerson started to preach at his own pulpit
IV. Marriage b Emerson fell in love with Ellen Tucker b Married at age 26 b After six months, Ellen fell ill b She died after 2 years of marriage
IV. Marriage Cont’d b Emerson’s grief was strong and long lasting b A year after her death, he reopened Ellen’s coffin to deal with his grief b He quit his job as minister b Emerson used his remaining salary to sail to Europe on Christmas day for a 9 month stay
V. A New Life b Emerson returned in 1833 and began a new career as lecturer, essayist and poet b Ellen’s estate provided an annual salary, he supplemented it by giving guest sermons
V. A New Life Cont’d b Started to associate with intellectuals of Massachusetts b In 1835 married Lydia Jackson b Published his first work, “Nature” b In 1837, met Henry David Thoreau, who became his disciple
VI. The Transcendentalists b In the late 1830’s, Emerson became the “chief spokesperson for the Transcendentalists” b He gave many famous lectures which were later published b Very successful professionally
VII. Later Life b Emerson’s views became very controversial. He spoke out publicly against slavery and for women’s rights b Essays started to lose some vitality b Respected and honored for his intellectual contributions
VIII. Death of Emerson b In his last few years, Emerson suffered from aphasia (lose the power to comprehend or use words, usually resulting from a brain lesion) b Died on April 27, 1882 (at the age of 78)