Thoreau and emerson relationship

Thoreau's Relationship With Emerson | The Connection

thoreau and emerson relationship

n's. An Intellectual Comradeship: The Friendship of Emerson and Thoreau. Lindsay Fitzharris. The relationship between Ralph Waldo Emerson. The two authors Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau, are similar in many ways. The first example would be their love towards the nature, and their. Bibliography "Emerson and Thoreau - Boundless Open Textbook." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. "Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry.

This book tells the story of their friendship. Harmon Smith emphasizes their personal bond, but also shows how their relationship affected their thought and writing, and was in turn influenced by their careers.

My Friend, My Friend

Without Emerson's interest and support, it is unlikely that Thoreau could have expended the energy on writing that enabled him to achieve greatness. By inviting Thoreau into his home to live during two different periods in the s, Emerson effectively made Thoreau "one of the family.

Ralph Waldo Emerson and The Psychology of Self-Reliance

Emerson also broadened Thoreau's horizon immeasurably by introducing him to an ever-widening circle of friends and colleagues. Although the bond between Thoreau and Emerson was strong, their needs were often greatly at variance.

While this led to a prolonged period of estrangement between them, they were ultimately able to reconcile their differences.

thoreau and emerson relationship

Many years after Thoreau died, Emerson could look back over his long life and say that Henry had been his best friend. Since the thoughts and feelings of the two men are so well documented in their journals and letters, Smith is able to trace the pattern of their emotional involvement in great detail.

Emerson & Thoreau: Figures of Friendship | Issue 80 | Philosophy Now

What emerges is both a remarkable portrait of their relationship and an intimate look at the nature of friendship itself. Reviews "This bracingly clear, humanely intelligent book has much to offer both professional and lay readers. The narrative often represents the excruciating ambivalence of feelings Emerson and Thoreau had for one another in ways that assume a familiarity and comfort with 20th-century approaches to psychology.

But Smith's skillful probing of each man's depths—through close attention to famous works, letters, and each writer's massive journal—is so sensitive, sympathetic, and gentle that he leaves the first law for all would-be healers, Do no harm, wonderfully unbroken. Complications between Emerson and Thoreau From its beginning, the relationship between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau was powered by the passions and extraordinary expectations of both participants.

The detail with which each man recorded his thoughts and emotions, supported by the correspondence of others, provides the opportunity for scholars to explore this complex and dynamic literary friendship. To discuss their relationship, it is first necessary to briefly outline some of the significant events that shaped it. At this meeting, Emerson suggested to Thoreau that he should keep a journal; Thoreau began one that day and kept the habit throughout his life.

thoreau and emerson relationship

In Thoreau accepted the invitation to move in with the Emerson family. Within two weeks In January ofeach of the two men suffered a loss which strongly influenced the shape of his life and of their friendship. During this time, Emerson purchased land on Walden Pond, and helped Thoreau to accumulate the tools and resources to build a cabin to which he could retire in order to finish his book A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

When Emerson returned, both men seemed to have changed, and neither appreciated the changes in the other. According to John Ronan, the outer change in Emerson was alienating to Thoreau.

Over the course of the next decade, Emerson became more successful as a lecturer and more prominent in the public eye.

Although Thoreau began to lecture occasionally, much of his time was spent retreating into both the finishing of Week and the revision of Walden.

The two men continued to interact, but it is apparent in studying their journals that the relationship was strained; there were disappointments, frustrations and misunderstandings on both sides.

Thoreau's Relationship With Emerson

InEmerson became ill with a serious case of measles, and the fear that he might die caused Thoreau to seek a reconciliation with him that seems to have restored their friendship. When Thoreau died of tuberculosis inEmerson gave the address at his funeral. When published as an essay, that address not only eulogized Thoreau but also became, according to Buell, the most influential piece written on Thoreau: What is argued is how reciprocal the influence was and what the issues were that arose between the two men during their relationship.

Certainly the relationship was weighty with expectations on both sides. And yet, there is evidence that Emerson had an established pattern of embracing a new poet with enthusiasm, only to become disillusioned with him when he failed to meet high expectations of continued performance.