Rhodora Analysis

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“The Rhodora”- An In-depth Analysis Ralph Waldo Emerson, an icon of the transcendental mindset expresses the idea of non-conformity and being one with nature, in his poem “The Rhodora.” Emerson awakens his readers towards a newer perspective, one that is not clouded and overshadowed by the pressures of society, but instead free and open to new and “wild” interpretations. Through the extensive use of literary elements such as descriptive diction, apostrophe and symbolism he was able to convey his values both as a transcendentalist and as an individual. As a poet Emerson relies upon a wide range of literary elements and techniques. Included in this arsenal is the extensive use of poetry’s most fundamental form of expression, descriptive diction. With the implementation of strong descriptive diction Emerson acknowledges and exemplifies the natural beauty of the Rhodora, as depicted in line (3) “I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods\Spreading its leafless blooms in the damp nook.” As a way of expressing his complete adoration he carefully and deliberately chooses words that will properly express this view, he uses adjectives such as fresh and spreading as a way of bringing life and character to the Rhodora. Furthermore he also incorporates the use of apostrophe, which is evident in his tone and the way he often times directly addresses the Rhodora as if it were a person, “Rhodora! If the sages ask thee why\ Tell them, dear.” This shift in tone brings forth an additional depth of uniqueness in his poem, by directly addressing the Rhodora Emerson shows his respect and admiration for this “sacred plant” (that’s how Emerson sees it). Unlike others of his time he does not look down upon the Rhodora but instead refers to it as if it were a being capable of communicating and understanding. Symbolism plays a major role in the way Emerson chooses to

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