The American Scholar Paragraph Analysis’

Paragraph 1: Emerson opens his essay greeting his audience, which was the college professor and his colleagues. He also hints at the idea of American writing no longer having a foreign influence.

Paragraph 2: Emerson’s second paragraph explains the topic that he is going to talk about, which is “the American Scholar” and american writing in general.

Paragraph 3: In his third paragraph he talks about how at first only man wrote, but eventually divided into men writing, although writing with a tone similar to the man they divided from.

Paragraph 4: Emerson states in his fourth paragraph about how “The Man” is found in not only one person, but in everyone of society.

Paragraph 5: The 5th paragraph simply continues off of paragraph four stating how “The Man” isn’t just a single object, rather many things.

Paragraph 6: This paragraph states how the scholar has two stages of thinking. He has the Man Thinking stage, where he is in the delegated intellect, or he has the degenerate state, where he is a victim of society and other’s opinions.

Paragraph 7: Emerson states in the 7th paragraph that “All things have two handles: beware of the wrong one” which adds on to paragraph 6, where he talked about the 2 stages of thinking.

Paragraph 8: In the 8th paragraph, Emerson basically talks about how nature is one of the most influential teachings on a scholar.

Paragraph 9: The 9th Paragraph builds off of the previous one in talking about nature. It asks the question of can a writer truly only “proceed from one root” (the one root being teachings of the writer).

Paragraph 10: This paragraph opens up another great influence on writers, which is “the mind of the Past”.

Paragraph 11: Emerson states in this paragraph how scholars learn in many different forms from reading books.

Paragraph 12: The 12th paragraph states how each generation has its own series of novels.

Paragraph 13: In this paragraph Emerson hints at books maybe not being such great tools for learning, since books are influenced off of other people’s beliefs, not your own.

Paragraph 14: Emerson used repetition with the word “hence” in paragraph 14 while explaining how instead of Man Thinking, there is the bookworms who value books not as related to nature.

Paragraph 15: In Paragraph 15, Emerson talked used rhetorical questions asking when the right time was to read a book. He also talks about how books are one of the most abused things in the world.

Paragraph 16: In this paragraph, Emerson used a paradox, saying that genius is the sufficient enemy of genius by over influence. Emerson is trying to explain that genius is not actually genius if it is influenced by someone else’s writing.

Paragraph 17: Emerson started out this paragraph saying how there is with out a doubt a right and wrong way of reading. He stated that the Man Thinking, or the right way of reading, is to not let the tools available control you.

Paragraph 18: In the 18th paragraph, Emerson speaks about how “we” read some pieces with pleasure. He says that his is caused from an “abstraction of all time from their verses”.

Paragraph 19: In this paragraph, Emerson talked about how no book should be underrated or underestimated and that the mind can be fed knowledge from books, such as how the body grows when we eat food.

Paragraph 20: In this paragraph, Emerson said that there are some books that are essential to “a wise man”, which means that some books are necessary for one to read if they want to have a great amount of knowledge on the topic.

Paragraph 21: Emerson stated in the 21st paragraph that “Action is with the scholar subordinate, but it is essential. Without it, he is not yet a man.” This means that the practice is necessary for one to get to the next step and not doing so is not smart.

Paragraph 22: Paragraph 22 builds off of the previous paragraph in talking about how practice is essential. Emerson said that he overcomes fear and takes his “place in the ring to suffer and to work..”

Paragraph 23: Emerson stated in paragraph 23 that “The manufacture goes forward at all hours.” What he means when he said this is that one cannot make himself open to receiving.

Paragraph 24: What Emerson says in this paragraph is that it is nearly impossible to grasp the business we have in hand today.

Paragraph 25: Emerson’s point in the 25th paragraph is that the man who has put in the most practice has the most wisdom.

Paragraph 26: In this paragraph, Emerson stated “Life is our dictionary.” What this means is that throughout life you learn more just through everyday experiences, as well as practice.

Paragraph 27: In paragraph 27, Emerson talked about how life experiences is another resource in gaining knowledge and learning grammar, such as reading books, but better.

Paragraph 28: Here, Emerson basically continues off of the main idea from the previous paragraphs where life is the greatest resource of knowledge. He said that when all other resources fail and have become weary, there is the resource to live.

Paragraph 29: Emerson said in paragraph 29 that opportunities to learn are everywhere, it just comes down to if you are willing to get your hands dirty and work.

Paragraph 30: In this paragraph Emerson just restated how education comes in the forms of nature, books, and action.

Paragraph 31: Here, Emerson basically introduced the idea of the scholars general obligation to society.

Paragraph 32: In paragraph 32, Emerson said that it is important for the American Scholar to not deny the popular cry, simply because only he knows the world for what it is, since he is educated.

Paragraph 33: This paragraph states that it is important to self-trust and be educated because fear comes from ignorance.

Paragraph 34: Basically, what Emerson said in paragraph 34 is that society is the cowed, in which they are intimidated into fear.

Paragraph 35: Emerson stated that self-trust is something so important and deep it is nearly impossible to grasp. He also stated how man actually wronged himself by losing the sight of his prerogatives.

Paragraph 36: In paragraph 36, Emerson talked about how man is never satisfied with the resources that are available in ones life. He stated “The man has never lived that can feed us ever.”

Paragraph 37: In this paragraph, Emerson talked about how he has talked too studiously on the idea of the Scholar. He also said that he should no longer delay to add on to what he has to say.

Paragraph 38: Emerson said that he believes that each individual passes through the genius of the Classic, the Romantic, and the Reflective/Philosophical age.

Paragraph 39: Emerson basically said that the age he was living in was pretty much the age of Introversion.

Paragraph 40: Emerson asked many rhetorical questions in this paragraph, questioning whether or not it is bad to have second thoughts and if it is bad to be the age of Introversion.

Paragraph 41: Emerson stated in this paragraph that he was joyful when reading about the promising signs of the coming future because of poetry, art, philosophy, science, church, and state.

Paragraph 42: Emerson talked about how he embraces the common and explores the familiar in this paragraph.

Paragraph 43: Emerson’s biggest point in paragraph 43 is that man is related to all nature.

Paragraph 44: In this paragraph, Emerson describes how men like Emanuel Swedenborg saw the connection between nature and the affections of the soul. He also states that these men are the men of genius.

Paragraph 45: Emerson basically sums up his essay with the fact that the Scholar must be Independent, Courageous, and Intelligent.


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