Describe the characteristics in "The American Scholar" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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On the one hand, "American Scholar" is preoccupied with calls for intellectual independence, so to speak. Emerson calls upon his listeners to end "our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands." In this, Emerson's thinking was entirely in keeping with an American age of nationalism, one in many Americans were calling on the still-young nation to expand its borders and claim its place among the great nations of the world. But Emerson's speech does not reflect a crude or even conventional sense of nationalism. To Emerson, the American Scholar will be one that embraces his own individuality and nonconformity, rejecting conventional thinking. Men should turn to nature and within himself for his education.

Emerson rejected the crude individualism sometimes associated with American democracy. He feared that "the state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters." The scholar, even as he categorizes and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 691 words.)

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