Nature and Emerson and Dickinson Comparison Essay by Research Group

Nature and Emerson and Dickinson
This paper discusses the complex relationship between Emily Dickinson's and Ralph Waldo Emerson's ideas on nature as reflected in their poetry.
# 27582 | 5,175 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2003 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Comparison)

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This author believes that despite Ralph Waldo Emerson's great influence on Emily Dickinson and the similarity of their conceptions of the poet's role, she goes beyond his light-filled, hopeful conception of the relationship between humanity and nature. This paper discusses Emerson's serene conception of nature in which transcendence resides in the relationship between humanity and deity. This paper analyzes several of Dickinson's poems to demonstrate that she was far more skeptical and believed that, no matter how deeply and carefully one might read into nature, it retains its mystery.

From the Paper:

"In "The Rhodora," as Tuerk points out, the speaker's encounter with the flower "immediately results not from his own volition but in response to the sea-winds' piercing" of his solitude (6). The human being, the speaker, is shown at once to be fully entwined with the physical world and apart from it only by virtue of his perceptive and reflective capabilities. Therefore, human activities and the unmotivated natural forces are shown to intermingle. The 'force' of the wind that drives him is equaled, however, by the mere sight of the rhodora and beauty is shown to operate, therefore, as a force with a power perhaps even greater than anything merely physical in nature. The flower is then described in terms of its interaction with its surroundings--spreading, pleasing, dropping its petals, blackening the water, and being courted by the bird that might be attracted by it. This array of beautiful sights draws the speaker's attention in much the same way that it might eventually attract the imaginary bird."

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