Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Society and Solitude Summary & Analysis

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Society and Solitude Summary and Analysis

Although solitude is necessary for the scientist, the poet, the philosopher to formulate their thoughts, it is through contact with the world and other humans that one truly learns, according to Emerson. One danger of over-refinement of the intellect is difficulty functioning in the unpredictable world of men. Some men of genius maintain their distance from others by solitude, some by courtesy and some by developing an acid tongue,Emerson says. Men who isolate themselves not only deprive themselves of friendship and love, but also make themselves unfit for marriage. Society isn't always achieved easily, Emerson says, but by "chemical affinity" and even then "in very small doses." Striking a balance between solitude and society is difficult because "solitude is impracticable, and society fatal."

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This section contains 136 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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