Analysis of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Each Age Must Write Its Own Book"

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By saying that “each age is found must write its own books or rather generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to imply several things concerning learning especially in connection of the past and future literature. By analyzing his assertion, different people can make varying conclusions concerning what he meant especially in regard to college learning. This essay will discuss some of the things which he meant especially in trying to connect the future and past.

Through coming up with this statement, Emerson wanted to indicate that people exist in generations and each one of them come with varying opinions, views and concepts, meaning that each generation should write its own book so that it can be useful during the time it was written, and also to be used by the future ages to understand what happened in the past. He also wanted to mean that the usefulness of literature keeps on changing and therefore for the past to make a meaning for the future generations, each age should write its own book.

Emerson’s statement may also indicate that each book is useful for the generation it was written and therefore it is crucial for each one of them to write its book so that it can make sense to its people. When his assertion is viewed from this perspective, one may state that the future and present do not to connect through the books written in each age because if they only make sense for the age they were written, it means that they may not be sensible for the future.

By saying that “each age must write its own book,” he wanted to imply that things keep on changing and therefore for every generation to remind the future students concerning want happened in the previous generations, it is crucial for each age to come up with its own book. Writing a book is crucial because it can be used by so many generations to understand some of the things that happened many years ago. This means that by saying “each age must write its own book” Emerson wanted to indicate the importance of using books and other sources of information to make generations link whatever is learned at different times.

Although this statement shows that Emerson felt that books can be used to connect the future and past generations, it also means that the literature of the past is not worthy of praise and admiration by the future students. By saying that each generation must write its own book, Emerson wanted to show that literature from previous books may not have the same effect on the future readers as it had on the students and other people who used it when it was written. This means that because the effects of literature vary depending on time, each age should write its own so as to make a meaning to the people who exist during that time.

This statement also implies that information written in books at a particular time only fits the era in which it was written and this is the reason that irrespective of the future generations borrowing some concepts from the books written in the past, in most cases, the books of the past generations remain unessential. However, the books which were written helps the future ages to learn more about those who came before them through what they wrote and this is one of the reasons why Emerson says that each age should write its own book. If each age does not write its book, it means that it would be difficult for the generations to connect because there will be nothing to show the relationship between the future and the past.

However, one can also state that Emerson also wanted to connect the past and the future in process of education by implying that what is learned in the past is also useful for the future generations. For example, the content that people learn now is a transformation of what was learned in the past. This means that if the past generations do not write their books, the future generation will have nothing to rely on when transforming their education. It also means that the past and the future will have no relationship if an evidence of what was learned in the past does not exist.

It can also be right to state that Emerson wanted to show that books are the best forms of influencing the past and future college students because of their ability to exist for many years. In his ideas, he wanted to show that the information contained in books can assist people who exist in different generations because the ability of books to exist for long years can make future students to connect with those who existed in the past through reading whatever information they kept in books.

August 21, 2023



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