Emerson and Thoreau

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Emerson: “The American Scholar”
1) What does Emerson mean by “scholar”?
2) In what way does Emerson’s concept of the “American Scholar” challenge
existing/traditional notions of the intellectual?
3) How does his concept of the “American Scholar” become a more general
intellectual “declaration of independence”—both from Europe and, more
generally, from any old, entrenched, and received ways of thinking?
Thoreau, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”
a. What is the relationship between place and mode of life for Thoreau?
b. What does this chapter say about motivations and purposes of his
“experiment”?
c. Critics (or, cynics) have often derided Thoreau for his supposed pretensions
of escaping from civilization, pointing out that he lived only about 2 miles
from town on land belonging to his best friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, that
he returned to town for lunches and company, and also received many
visitors at his cabin. What do you think? Is the point really the notion of
total escape, forsaking all civilization? What IS the point of his experiment?
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