The essay The American Scholar by Ralph Emerson Waldo basically consists of three main parts. First Emerson writes about the scholar's resources, which are nature, books, and experience. Second he writes about the scholar's duties, which are basically to trust yourself and your intuitions, no matter what society tells you. Third, he writes about the condition of American scholars during 1800 s, claiming that Americans depend on European cultural traditions, and that they need to develop their own. In the first part he talks about how scholar relates to nature. He says To the young mind everything is individual, it finds how to join two things and se in them in one nature.
He doesn t believe in Empirical Science where people believe only what they can prove. He believes that you could seek truth by guessing. He chooses dreams over truth. He talks about books as scholars resources. He says that influence of the scholar is the mind of the past and that books are the best types of influence of the past. Emerson also talks about the difference between the mere thinker and Man Thinking.
What I think he means that mere thinkers ponder on books and then builds ideas and opinions about what they have read, however Man Thinking builds opinions on life in general and doesn t focus on one subject. He says that schooled people are great intellectuals. However an unschooled person may be more learned then people who spend days reading books and locked up studying, because he or she experience life to the fullest and understand more about things that cannot be learned from books. Emerson also talks a lot about fear. He states fear is the primary enemy of the scholar. Fear is the voice in your head that says, No, you can t do it! Inaction is cowardice, but there can be no scholar without a heroic mind.
The American Scholar is the hero. The scholar should face his / her fears and take actions. "There is creative reading as well as creative writing." I think this quote means that there is no specific meaning in this essay. For every individual it is different. Creative reading means that you make the call of what he means. You are the scholar.
Emerson thinks that your ideas are just as important as his ideas.