Emerson’s Nature

It really was no surprise to me that this reading of Emerson’s Nature went along well with our movie Into the Wild. Just like Emerson, Chris sees the many flaws that society has and the distractions that go with it. To experience the “wholeness” of nature, Emerson wants us to get away from these things in society (kind of what Chris does in the film). Emerson goes on to describe that solitude is the only way that humans can discover this, and again the way Chris lives out his time in nature. Emerson says, “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” Instead, Emerson feels that people only use nature for our own selfish needs and our own desires. It also interests me how he uses religion and spirituality when writing this; he says, “The aspect of nature is devout. Like the figure of Jesus, she stands with bended head, and hands folded upon the breast. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship”. I kind of took this as a way to see nature as a divine being almost. Nature certainly is a life giver; trees supply wood for homes, plants provide food, etc. I don’t necessarily think Emerson wants us to worship nature, but maybe to revere it and understand why we really need. It’s interesting to see how many connections we had to this reading and our film as Dr. Findling noted in his email so keep looking everyone!

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