Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) is one of the most influential essayists and transcendentalists of the 19th century. In his speech ‘The American Scholar, ‘ Emerson ornamented the American scholars with some excellent characteristics.
According to Emerson, the scholar must be a thinking man, not an imitator of other men’s thinking. He will be a free thinker. There are various sources of his knowledge, such as Nature, books, and his own actions and observations. He studies natural phenomena, meditates on them, and sees an essential unity behind the external diversity of things. The books of others have never influenced the scholar. He should be a creative reader. He accepts the necessary portion of the books and rejects the rest.
More Notes: The American Scholar
The scholar must be a man of action, without which thought can never grow up into truth. His action calls for specific duties for himself and his society. He must have self-trust and self-realization. He should be free from greed for fame and cheap popularity. He may have initially lived a life of poverty and solitude, but he must not be discouraged. He must boldly face the difficulties that come on his way and try to overcome them.
More Notes: Suggestions
In short, The scholar must be independent, bold, and original; In thinking and acting, the scholar must show that America is not the timid society it is assumed to be.