Explain how Emerson’s views of man’s nature are a natural evolution of the ideas of “American-ness”
that we’ve already seen in Crevecoeur and Franklin
Pick any one of these questions to answer in a detailed answer of approximately one typed page in length. You
should pick the question that you feel that you can answer the most completely. There is no one question that is
“better” than the other one.
1. Explain how Emerson’s views of man’s nature are a natural evolution of the ideas of “American-ness”
that we’ve already seen in Crevecoeur and Franklin.
2. Emerson was trained as a minister, and yet deliberately chose to not preach in a specific organized
religion (and basically created a secular religion). Explain how much or little you think that his views
and philosophy are based on a Judeo-Christian belief system
3. Compare and contrast Emerson’s views with Franklin’s in terms of goodness and morality. Is Emerson
building on Franklin’s doctrines? Would Franklin be able to be a good Transcendentalist?
4. Emerson was Thoreau’s mentor. Explain how you see Thoreau reflecting Emerson’s ideas and values in
his own life, based on what you’ve read
5. How valid are Thoreau’s views on “simple” life when even in his own isolation, he was close to town
and would regularly go back into town for a hot meal?
6. Thoreau only spent ONE night in jail — why does he make such a big deal out of such a minor incident?
7. Thoreau was basically unread and definitely unappreciated in his own life. Why did the 20th century
readers appreciate him so much more, to the point that Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther
King, Jr. all cited him as a specific influence, not to mention the counterculture of the ’60s?
Check your assignment. Reread it. Reread it again. Make sure that it is a solid, well-written work of the proper
length, and that it fully answers the question posed in the topic.
|Academic Level||High school|
|Number of Pages||1 Page(s)/275 words|