A Comparison of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau

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Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were both born in Massachusetts. Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. Thoreau was born in Concord in 1817. Emerson attended Harvard and then became a Unitarian minister just like his father had been. Thoreau also attended Harvard but upon graduating, became a teacher and opened up a school. Both Emerson and Thoreau gave up their careers to pursue Transcendentalist philosophy. Emerson was one of the first to start the …

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…a similar goal in common; nature. They wanted to live in harmony with nature. Emerson said that man is part of nature and should live in harmony with it. Thoreau said man should be in harmony with himself. One could say that to be in harmony with oneself is to be in harmony with nature. Together, Emerson an Thoreau shaped a whole new way of thinking in America. This way of thinking, lives on today.