As contemporaries of each other, Emerson and Hawthorne share many similarities in their bodies of work.
The central premise of Emerson's "Nature" is that unspoiled wilderness is the closest that man can come to know God or the universal being. Civilization and destruction of the natural environment are seen as obstacles to spiritual enlightenment. Similarly, Hawthorne depicts nature as a force for good in his writings. Although your question does not mention it, Hawthorne's most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter, uses nature as a symbol for moral purity outside of the corrupting influence of society. In "Young Goodman Brown," the title character has been taught to fear the wilderness by his civilization, yet he seems to discover the truth about society's corruption after venturing there. In "The Birth-Mark," the scientist's attempts at altering nature end disastrously.
As far as "Self-Reliance" is concerned, Emerson emphasizes the ultimate authority of the individual. This radical...
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