Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jonathan Comparison Essay by Snookie

Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jonathan
A comparative analysis of life according to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jonathan Edwards.
# 103749 | 1,677 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on May 26, 2008 in English (Analysis) , Philosophy (General)

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This paper discusses two great American thinkers: The nineteenth-century transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson and the eighteenth-century Puritan, Jonathan Edwards. The paper compares these two great thinkers, noting that Emerson's Romanticism era was based on the value of the individual and the beauty of the natural world, while Edwards' era focused on the Puritan idea of innate depravity and praise to God in heaven, and relates that this comparison thus illustrates how the mentalities of these scholars are profoundly dissimilar in several aspects. The paper then contrasts the philosophies of Edwards and Emerson by examining their views on man, spirituality and religion, and nature.

From the Paper:

"The somewhat self-centered attitude portrayed in Emerson's work has led some to believe that he considers mankind as God's equal - as if the world, in Emerson's view, revolves around man's thoughts and feelings; however, Edwards' position is that human life is controlled and monitored by God Himself. In contrast to Emerson's idea of man being somewhat supreme beings whose ways are right if he believes them to be so, Edwards advocates the Puritan philosophy of innate depravity. In his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Edwards insists that mankind as a whole is sinful in nature and must obtain salvation from above in order to be at peace. "Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it," Edwards states, "he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do" (501). "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. a. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.
  • ---, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. B. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.
  • Edwards, Jonathan. "Images of Shadows of Divine Things." Baym. 511-514.
  • ---. "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." Baym. 498-509.
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature. Baym. 1106-1134.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jonathan (2008, May 26) Retrieved July 27, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/ralph-waldo-emerson-and-jonathan-103749/

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