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Comparing Emerson and Thoreau Emerson and Thoreau are the most compared and contrasted authors of all time and here is just one more comparison The main issues focused on are Transcendentalism theme and imagery in stories Transcendentalism is a philosophy of individualism and self-reliance It was very popular in New England in the 1830s Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau had both similar and different ideas on Transcendentalism On the issue of individuality they agree Emerson says insist on yourself never imitateMaxims205 Thoreau says Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respectCivil Disobedience224 The issue they disagree on is their thoughts on the government From the Maxims Emerson says An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man205 Civil Disobedience written by Thoreau states To speak practically and as a citizen unlike those who call themselves no government men I ask for not once a government but at once a better government224 These quotes show their different opinions on the same issue Theme is the underlining meaning in a work of literature Emerson and Thoreau both have ideas on this Emerson says The young patriot feeds himself stronger than before a new thousand eyes and armsSelf-Reliance210 on the issue of independence Agreeing with him Thoreau says The process from an absolute to a limited monarchy from a limited monarchy to a democracy is a progress toward a true respect for the individualCivil Disobediance227 They disagree on being an activist Emerson says to Thoreau Henry why are you hereBiography of Thoreau216 Thoreau replies Waldo why are you not here Biography of Thoreau216 Imagery is the way an author explains a picture thus giving the reader an idea of what they are talking about Emerson and Thoreau show similarities in how they portray buildings in their literature From Snowstorm Emerson writes it fills up the farmers lane from wall to wall masking the farmers sigh and at the
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