Emerson's and Thoreau's Social Criticisms Term Paper by dwlginky

Emerson's and Thoreau's Social Criticisms
A look at the techniques used by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau in their evaluations and criticisms of 19th century American society.
# 45676 | 2,023 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2003 | US
Published on Nov 18, 2003 in Literature (American) , Sociology (Theory)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


In this paper, the writer looks at the approaches Emerson and Thoreau take to social criticism. The writer shows that they share a common dislike of a large society that dwarfs and silences the individual. It then shows that the two authors have many differences in their style of criticism. Whereas Emerson writes to inspire the masses to change and create a better society, Thoreau writes in a less optimistic style, aiming to affect individual readers, so that they might rise above their flawed society rather than be a part of an improved one.

From the Paper:

"The two American literary pioneers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau gave voice to a philosophy of individualism and a mode of life striving to reach something beyond ordinary existence. In fact, the two were close friends, sharing very similar thoughts concerning American life in the 19th century. Thoreau was a neighbor of Emerson's, and for a short time was actually employed by Emerson as a handyman. Emerson played a key role in having Thoreau's early work published both in the Transcendentalist newspaper The Dial (of which Emerson was the editor), as well as to a wider audience."

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Emerson's and Thoreau's Social Criticisms (2003, November 18) Retrieved May 25, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/emerson-and-thoreaussocial-criticisms-45676/

MLA Format

"Emerson's and Thoreau's Social Criticisms" 18 November 2003. Web. 25 May. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/emerson-and-thoreaussocial-criticisms-45676/>