Nature Essay By Emerson Summary

Indeed, he suggests humans "know" nature by their daily lives, without a full intellectual comprehension of it. He then laments the state of scientific inquiries about the "idea of creation." He mentions disputes between religious teachers on the subject, referring perhaps to his own experience as a disenchanted Unitarian.Emerson is in fact dismayed by the failures of both religion and science to produce a grand, unified theory of creation, or nature.

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Emerson describes the ways in which an observer, thus prepared, may derive delight from nature, even in difficult circumstances.

Delight is not the only product of this contemplation but there is also nourishment and healing: Emerson notes observing nature can lift even the darkest spirits because true contemplation reveals the oneness between humans and nature.

In this shortest section of the essay Emerson addresses the "commodity" of nature: the uses to which humans may put natural elements, such as air, water, and earth.

For the purposes of the essay, these uses do not hold much interest for Emerson, and so he deals quickly with the "low" uses of nature.

Emerson then contrasts true contemplation of nature to a "superficial" seeing of natural phenomena.

He suggests true appreciation of nature exists in two kinds of people: in children and in adults who have their inner and outward senses in harmony, thus preserving the wonder of childhood.

Solitude is essential to the appreciation of nature.

Work, society, and other aspects of company are a distraction from the true appreciation of creation.

He runs through the many ways in which nature is useful and reminds readers even these "low" uses are part of a divine creation and a divine unity.

Nature is "not only the material but also the process and the result": all uses of nature are themselves a part of nature.

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