EMERSON AS AN ESSAYIST : His Prose Style


                                      
Introduction: Emerson is one of the greatest American essayists of the nineteenth century. He is quite different form the English essayist like Addison, Lamb, Hazlitt, Arnold ,or Stevenson . He was primarily a philosophical thinker. He was Transcendentalist. He believed that God pervades the whole universe. In his essay, Emerson’s reasoning is called "a priori '. It is reasoning from cause to effect and vice - versa. There is no logical relation among his points. But in his Transcendentalism, they stand related to one another. In fact, Emerson’s essay is not an essay in the conventional sense. It is the essay of the Transcendentalist.

Form:  The essays of the English are short. But Emerson’s essays are very long. His essays are as a vast treaty of nature in which multitudes of argument and illustrations jostle one another for existence. On the basis of their form, his may be called Lectures. Some of them may be called treatises or orations. The body of his essay is vast. It contains various topics under the main title. The essay -- The American Scholars covers about fifteen pages. It talks about the major influence on the, it discuses the duties of a scholar, it is in a way American intellectual declaration of independence '.

Loose Construction: Emerson essays are loosely constructed. His paragraphs are not based any logical sequences. The points of his thought are not related to one another by virtue of logical discussion. In 'the American scholar ' he tells first his readers that Americans should how make R declaration of literary Independence. Then he tells then Heart the American scholar should be a 'Man - thinking ‘. Thereafter he describes the influence upon the mind of man. He was a great scholar. His vision was vast. As soon as he is in a position to complete a paragraph a new vision comes up and ideas from themselves into a circle.

Sublime Thought: Emerson’s essays are steeped in sublime Thoughts. His essays -- 'The poet’, 'The over soul' and 'self - reliance' contain sublime thoughts. Emerson, the transcendentalist is at his best in these essays.




Philosophical style:  Emerson style for writing essays is philosophical. He unites ---- " The word of phenomena is lifted to the plane of principle " Further , " A Man should learn to detect and watch the gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within Emerson’s vision draws philosophical conclusions for the readers . He writes -- “Every thought is potent rather than purely reflective ".

R. W. Emerson
Philosophical not Artistic ?: A member of critics is of the view that Emerson, the essayist is not the artist. In the opinion of Spiller, Emerson is - “a writer who is artistic but not an artist ". Emerson is said to have got no sense of composition. He is accused of writing loose sentences with no sense of syntax .when he starts elaborating his ideas his sense of form disappears and continuation becomes illogical, incoherence is the result of it all. Emerson’s prose has something beautiful style, something daggling. A critic say about his essays that they are - " a chaos full of shooting stars " To find his style , we may conclude him as a great scholar as a great Thinker . He united to give his reader the maxim to his readers in a shorter time.




Display of wisdom:  His essays are replete with his wisdom. He was an intellectual, a deep Thinker and an eloquent speaker .His essays contain deep thoughts which runs to the readers for this personal rights. Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman -- they were all good citizens of the nineteenth century and of the west. In the back of their work, all three writers built on Native American material and embodied American attitudes, specially the concepts of individualism and self-reliance. Perhaps the most fitting commentary on their relationship to Indian literature was made by Gandhi after reading Emerson’s essays: “The essays to my mind contain the teaching of Indian wisdom in a western ‘genre’. It is interesting to see our own sometimes differently fashioned.”   

  Ardhendu De