What does Emerson suggest about nature's beauty when he writes: "the influence of the forms and actions in nature is so needful to man, that, in its lowest functions, it seems to lie on the...

What does Emerson suggest about nature's beauty when he writes: "the influence of the forms and actions in nature is so needful to man, that, in its lowest functions, it seems to lie on the confines of commodity and beauty"?

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In Chapter III of his most well-known work, Nature, Emerson writes that "The influence of the forms and actions in nature, is so needful to man, that, in its lowest functions, it seems to lie on the confines of commodity and beauty."  He means that nature's influence is so necessary to humankind that, at its most basic level, we can appreciate it for what it gives to us and the way its beauty positively affects us.  In terms of its commodity value, he says that if one has been "cramped" by work or society, nature acts as a medicine that can restore both mind and body.  Further, when a person of any profession leaves the society of others and retreats, alone, to nature, he is made whole again, that one can and will find oneself in the calmness of nature.  Nature is both invigorating and curative.

Moreover, in terms of beauty, "Nature [often] satisfies by its loveliness, and without any mixture of corporeal benefit."  We need not necessarily gain anything from nature in order to appreciate it; sometimes, we simply appreciate its incredible beauty for what it is and not the effect that it has on us.  Emerson goes on, "How does Nature deify us with a few and cheap elements!  Give me health and a day, and I will make the pomp of emperors ridiculous."  It is as though the beauty of a day in nature -- its creatures, its clouds, its light, its trees, and so forth -- is of greater worth and beauty that even the riches and jewels possessed by an emperor.  

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Nature

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