Authors Essay Essay

Authors Essay Term paper

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Author Essay This essay will explore the optimists ideas of Emmerson and Thoreau, and the pessimist ideas of Hawthorne and Melville. These authors were expressing their beliefs in the transcendentalist period of American history. In Emmerson’s work "Self Reliance", Emmerson makes a statement that appeals to many people. Emmerson’s essay is about taking a stand, and expressing individuality. In order to truly be a person one must break away from the ideas of conformity. In essence everyone tries to reach a point of individuality weather it is through writing or clothing. Only when people reach that level of individuality do they truly feel happy with who they are. In "Walden’s Pond" Thoreau goes to a secluded area, where he finds that people can find spirituality in nature. Thoreau believed that only when one takes their life to the simplest level they will find themselves. This is not a point that everyone shares, but people as a whole accept it as valid. Melville’s work "What Redburn Saw in Lancelot’s Hey" shows the darker side of human existence. A mother and children crawl into the basement of a warehouse to die. Melville tries everything he can to save them, but the citizens of the town want nothing to do with him. In the end he realizes that he is only prolonging theirs deaths, and considers taking them out of their misery. This is a more than true reality of the world people live in. In "The Minister’s Black Veil" Hawthorne writes of a minister who bares a black veil to represent all of man who sins. The veil conveys a dark feeling in the townspeople and reminds them of their sins. The minister refuses to take the veil off when his wife left him, and even in death. Emmerson and Thoreau represent a hope for society which can give a good feeling to man, but there will always be that party of despair that will discourage, and open their eyes to the true reality.

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