Ideal Society Through Thoreau’s and Emerson’s Eyes

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Ideal Society Through Thoreau’s and Emerson’s Eyes
Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are considered two of the most influential and inspiring writers of their time. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was an essayist, and poet, was born on May 25, 1803, and is generally considered the father of American philosophy that rejects the idea that knowledge can be fully derived from experience and observation rather, truth exists in the spiritual world. Henry David Thoreau is his student, who was also a great essayist and critics. Both men extensively studied and embraced nature, and both men encouraged and practiced individualism, nonconformity and freedom.
In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience”, both composure thinkers speak about being individual and what changes need to be made in society. Ralph Waldo Emerson and his follower, Henry David Thoreau, both individualists, attacked the religious, political, and cultural values of American society in order to make people aware that they are more important than everything, including government and society. According to Emerson, society is an obstruction against the individuality of its members, “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most requests is conformity”.
The solution, for Emerson, is self-reliance, meaning that man is only responsible for his own life and he should not be too enveloped in society. The other principles are individualism and freedom, which was expressed in Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”; “I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation, which I have a right to assume, is to do at any…...

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