87 Text Introduction: Fate & Nature

Emerson wrote Fate later in his life after some big changes have happened. He has dealt with the deaths of his brother, mother, friend, and son. His themes and questions in his writing have progressed from the questions without a possible answer like those that appear in Nature to more realistic and thought provoking questions that appear in Fate. In Nature he asks the reader to “inquire, to what end is nature?” and in Fate he asks, “How shall I live?” Emerson begins to imply that Nature and Fate are the same thing.


Fate says the ideal principle is to reach a balance between liberty and fate. Fate does what it wants to do and won’t listen to you, but you can still try. We cannot change that fate is a part of us, but sometimes we can change what our fate is.


In Nature Emerson tries to explain how man fits into the science of nature. He describes nature as an experience of solitude. He says that we can learn happiness, simplicity and solitude from Nature. Nature was one of the first Transcendentalism pieces, and one of Emerson’s most prominent pieces ever written. Transcendentalism came about as a response to rationalism. Progressive themes of communal living and feminism are central to this idea and are conveyed through the abstract questions and claims of the text.


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openamlitGU by Timothy Robbins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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