1. “in the divided or social state these functions are parceled out to individuals” men have been divided and subdivided that people are no longer serves society effectively.

  2. “Still worse the parrot of other men’s thinking” Emerson said it is bad enough when people stop thinking but when they pretend to think by saying the other words that men have Artie written or parroting them it is worse. Be creative and the original

  3. “The scholar is he of all men whom this spectacle mosts engages” a person who discovers nature’s laws can understand them because they are similar to the operation of the smart mind

  4. nature and the soul are the “one root” Emerson speaks of they are opposites: nature is the opposite of the soul. The greater understanding of the self is greater understanding of nature

  5. “the theory of books is noble” books transform facts into truths and every book is a partial truth based on society standard when it was written but every age has to create its own books and find new truths for itself.

  6. “Books are the best of things well used: abused among the worst” People cannot place all of their time and energy into books because of bookworm who focuses all the energy on learning ignores larger universal ideas in the world


  8. “it was a dead fact now it is quick thought” here he is saying that because it was written in that moment in time it might have been true but over the centuries it turns into history and it is not true anymore.

  9. “Each age it is found must write its own book” people need to remain creative constantly and not depend on books to teach them new truths.

After reading this excerpt what questions come up? Emerson gave this speech at Harvard in 1837 when women were not allowed to go to college there. I wonder what kind of advice he would have if there are women in the crowd. It seems to me that if he truly believed that looking to nature for answers was the answer to all of life’s problems he would see in nature exactly 50% of the population were women and he needs to include them.

What larger ideas was he trying to get across? In this speech he was trying to tell people that books aren’t the answer to life necessarily. That truths that were written down our only true at the moment they don’t have to be forever truths to find forever truths you need to look into nature.