Thomas Carlyle, “The Age of Machinery” and Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature”

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The Beauty of the Common.

That must be the title of your essay, but you can write it however you would like. In “Nature,” Emerson writes, “It will not need, when the mind is

prepared to study, to search for objects. The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” So I want you to use that as your

guide. Write an essay (at least three pages, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 1″ margins all around, double-spaced) that does two things: it should present

a thesis about the beauty of the common as you see it, and the beauty of the common as Emerson saw it. Use Emerson and Carlyle to help you through it,

and try to find some common ground between them and yourself, between their world and yours. The Transcendentalists were brilliant at finding beauty in

the most common of things (a rock for example, or a leaf), and they truly believed it. Not necessarily in the sunset, but in the way a certain tree

looked when the sun was setting. They then found a way to make sense of that beauty as it represented the men and women looking at, and studying, that

beauty. The beauty, in other words, meant something. So for this assignment, discuss that. Discuss the beauty in the everyday, not necessarily in the

profound, but in the simple. Be creative, be thorough, and be true to these essays. Quote them, but don’t quote them that extensively. I want this to

come from a place of originality.

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Paper Format: All papers are to be double-spaced. The mandatory heading, which
follows MLA, must be in the upper left-hand corner of first sheet, the title centered, the
paragraphs indented as follows:
Student’s name
English 2342, Assignment #
Instructor’s Name
Title of Essay

Last Updated on April 25, 2020 by