Ralph Waldo Emerson advances the concept of interconnectedness and evolution in many of his works, with the strongest point being that none of the things of the world have meaning on their own. Emerson describes nature and its relationship with an individual’s emotions from the divinity view. The author divides the poem into three parts with no rhyme scheme. Emerson addresses interconnectedness and how it leads to individualism, as well as divine existence and the importance of nature as an inalienable right of a human being. In this respect, close reading entails an analysis of the poem and how Emerson brings out the theme of individualism and nature, as well as the approaches that the poet uses to discuss aesthetics of nature.
Part 1: Lines 1 to 12
Emerson differentiated between interconnectedness and individualism of objects of people in the universe, and how they influence the sight of beauty. In the first 10 lines, Emerson argues that when individuals are doing their activities, they are independent but aware of the actions that influence others. For example, the poet addresses a “red-cloaked clown” by telling the individual that the “heifer” is lowing for the clown, Napoleon cares when the “Sexon rings” the church bell, and the “neighbor’s life” is shaped by the individual’s beliefs (1-10). The words help describe the interconnected in nature that opposes the views of the clown about the independence of objects or people in the universe. The view is contrasted with a description of the “heifers” and a “heard” far away that do not agree with the narrator’s emotions (3). The poet also differentiates his view with the neighbor’s perspective of nature (9-10). The argument is that each person or entity in the universe has an innate feeling about the surroundings which may differ from each other. However, the objects and the environment around them are interconnected to enhance completeness and aesthetic value. The poet indicates this interconnectedness in a rejoinder in line 11 and 12 that “all are needed by each one” and “nothing is fair or good alone.”
Part 2: Lines 13-33
The section between lines 13-33 gives three examples of how elements in the universe are interconnected in the natural settings. The primary argument is that once these objects are removed from their nature, they lose their aesthetic values to the viewer. Therefore, the examples are critical in describing the relationship between nature and the individualistic perspectives on other objects in the world. For instance, in stanza two, the description of the interaction between nature and living organisms, as well as their aesthetic value to the narrator creates the inalienability between them. In particular, while at the alder bough, the sounds from the sparrow are pleasing and comparable to “a note from heaven” (13-14). Symbolically, heaven is used to show the sweetness of music hence by comparing it the sounds by the sparrow, the narrator implies that the sound is pleasant. However, when the bird and the nest are at home, the feeling changes and at this point the realization is that the sound pleases the “ear,” while “the river and sky” are beautiful “to the eye” (15-18). The same comparison is made in stanza three where the narrator finds the “delicate shells” at the “shore” “poor, unsightly, and noisome things” (16-23). Despite calling them “sea-born treasures,” the poet argues that the shells lose their beauty when alienated from their natural habitat, which complements the aesthetic features (22-25). In stanza four, the individualistic perspectives changes are compared to another character introduced in the poem referred to as a “lover” who gets a “graceful maid’ amid “virgins” (25-26). However, once married the beauty of the bride is lost and the narrator describes her as “a gentle wife but fairy none” (28-33). The examples from the three stanzas, therefore, imply that from an individualistic point of view, the beauty of an object or person is not complete without being at the surrounding at which the impression was made. To an extent, the settings signify Emerson’s presentation of the connectivity between human senses which complement each other in interpreting information. The divinity through which man sees the universe is controlled by senses which help the mind generate knowledge or views about the universe. In this case, one sense such as hearing cannot interpret beauty if another of sight is not in place. Emerson compares the scenario to an individual’s interaction with nature and how they perceive beauty in relation to the environment around an object.
Part 3: Lines 34 to 51
The last stanza reconciles the other arts by creating a reflection and beautifulness of nature which the Emerson describes as “coveting the truth” (34). The ideology that an object or person is beautiful is described as “a lie,” “childish” and “games of the youth” (35-36). Instead, Emerson explains beauty as an interconnectedness of elements in the universe illustrated by “the ground,” sun’s “violet” rays, air, “sky,” as well as the “rolling river and morning bird” (38-49). In this case, a person will derive beauty by considering the interdependence of objects at the scenery.in lines 50 and 51, Emerson argues that the “perfect whole” of beauty is through the interconnectivity of the “senses” of the body.
In summary, nature and interconnectedness are brought out through three levels of argument in which the first one accounts for a how actions of an individual can influence another person’s beliefs. The second one is about the connection between the senses perception of beauty through comparing elements in a natural setting and when removed. Lastly, the third part also shows how the aesthetic value is obtained by using the five senses of the body together to show the relationship between them and the significance of beauty as a collection of objects in a scene rather than focusing on one. Though the rationale for the view is argued through the experiences, the argument does not focus on nature itself, but the beauty of individual objects about the environment hence can draw criticism to philosophers of metaphysics.
Emerson Central, “Each and All: Ralph Waldo Emerson. Early Poems from Emerson. Web.