Ralph Waldo Emerson: Education
Rhetoric 2 The relationship between Genius and Drill is paradoxical because it from Emerson uses figurative language to draw in the reader, significantly. What is the relationship between "Genius and Drill" that Emerson makes in his essay Emerson suggests that a for a student to be a genius, they must have a. In this essay, Ralph Waldo Emerson describes his view of an ideal education Why is the relationship between “Genius and Drill,” as Emerson.
There comes the period of the imagination to each, a later youth; the power of beauty, the power of books, of poetry. Culture makes his books realities to him, their characters more brilliant, more effective on his mind, than his actual mates. Do not spare to put novels into the hands of young people as an occasional holiday and experiment; but, above all, good poetry in all kinds, epic, tragedy, lyric. If we can touch the imagination, we serve them, they will never forget it.
They teach the same truth, — a trust, against all appearances, against all privations, in your own worth, and not in tricks, plotting, or patronage. I believe that our own experience instructs us that the secret of Education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained, and he only holds the key to his own secret. By your tampering and thwarting and too much governing he may be hindered from his end and kept out of his own.
Wait and see the new product of Nature. Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.
But I hear the outcry which replies to this suggestion: I answer, — Respect the child, respect him to the end, but also respect yourself. Be the companion of his thought, the friend of his friendship, the lover of his virtue, — but no kinsman of his sin. Let him find you so true to yourself that you are the irreconcilable hater of his vice and imperturbable slighter of his trifling. Here are the two capital facts, Genius and Drill.
The first is the inspiration in the well-born healthy child, the new perception he has of nature. Somewhat he sees in forms or hears in music or apprehends in mathematics, or believes practicable in mechanics or possible in political society, which no one else sees or hears or believes.
This is the perpetual romance of new life, the invasion of God into the old dead world, when he sends into quiet houses a young soul with a thought which is not met, looking for something which is not there, but which ought to be there: Baffled for want of language and methods to convey his meaning, not yet clear to himself, he conceives that though not in this house or town, yet in some other house or town is the wise master who can put him in possession of the rules and instruments to execute his will.
Happy this child with a bias, with a thought which entrances him, leads him, now into deserts now into cities, the fool of an idea.
Let him follow it in good and in evil report, in good or bad company; it will justify itself; it will lead him at last into the illustrious society of the lovers of truth. Fellowes scraped away the dirt, was struck with the beauty of the sculptured ornaments, and, looking about him, observed more blocks and fragments like this.
He returned to the spot, procured laborers and uncovered many blocks. He went back to England, bought a Greek grammar and learned the language; he read history and studied ancient art to explain his stones; he interested Gibson the sculptor; he invoked the assistance of the English Government; he called in the succor of Sir Humphry Davy to analyze the pigments; of experts in coins, of scholars and connoisseurs; and at last in his third visit brought home to England such statues and marble reliefs and such careful plans that he was able to reconstruct, in the British Museum where it now stands, the perfect model of the Ionic trophy-monument, fifty years older than the Parthenon of Athens, and which had been destroyed by earthquakes, then by iconoclast Christians, then by savage Turks.
But mark that in the task he had achieved an excellent education, and become associated with distinguished scholars whom he had interested in his pursuit; in short, had formed a college for himself; the enthusiast had found the master, the masters, whom he sought.
Always genius seeks genius, desires nothing so much as to be a pupil and to find those who can lend it aid to perfect itself. Nor are the two elements, enthusiasm and chill, incompatible. Accuracy is essential to beauty. Teach him the difference between the similar and the same.
Make him call things by their right names. Pardon in him no blunder. Then he will give you solid satisfaction as long as he lives. It is better to teach the child arithmetic and Latin grammar than rhetoric or moral philosophy, because they require exactitude of performance; it is made certain that the lesson is mastered, and that power of performance is worth more than the knowledge.
He can learn anything which is important to him now that the power to learn is secured: Letter by letter, syllable by syllable, the child learns to read, and in good time can convey to all the domestic circle the sense of Shakespeare. By many steps each just as short, the stammering boy and the hesitating collegian, in the school debate, in college clubs, in mock court, comes at last to full, secure, triumphant unfolding of his thought in the popular assembly, with a fullness of power that makes all the steps forgotten.
But this function of opening and feeding the human mind is not to be fulfilled by any mechanical or military method; is not to be trusted to any skill less large than Nature itself.
You must not neglect the form, but you must secure the essentials. It is curious how perverse and intermeddling we are, and what vast pains and cost we incur to do wrong.
Whilst we all know in our own experience and apply natural methods in our own business, — in education our common sense fails us, and we are continually trying costly machinery against nature, in patent schools and academies and in great colleges and universities. The natural method forever confutes our experiments, and we must still come back to it. The child is as hot to learn as the mother is to impart. There is mutual delight. The joy of our childhood in hearing beautiful stories from some skilful aunt who loves to tell them, must he repeated in youth.
Emerson Questions on Rhetoric & Style – This Year at a Glance
The boy wishes to learn to skate, to coast, to catch a fish in the brook, to hit a mark with a snowball or a stone; and a boy a little older is just as well pleased to teach him these sciences. Not less delightful is the mutual pleasure of teaching and learning the secret of algebra, or of chemistry, or of good reading and good recitation of poetry or of prose, or of chosen facts in history or in biography.
Nature provided for the communication of thought, by planting with it in the receiving mind a fury to impart it. One burns to tell the new fact, the other burns to hear it. See how far a young doctor will ride or walk to witness a new surgical operation.
So in literature, the young man who has taste for poetry, for fine images, for noble thoughts, is insatiable for this nourishment, and forgets all the world for the more learned friend, — who finds equal joy in dealing out his treasures. Happy the natural college thus self-instituted around every natural teacher; the young men of Athens around Socrates; of Alexandria around Plotinus; of Paris around Abelard; of Germany around Fichte, or Niebuhr, or Goethe: But the moment this is organized, difficulties begin.
The college was to be the nurse and home of genius; but, though every young man is born with some determination in his nature, and is a potential genius; is at last to be one; it is, in the most, obstructed and delayed, and, whatever they may hereafter be, their senses are now opened in advance of their minds.
They are more sensual than intellectual. Appetite and indolence they have, but no enthusiasm. These come in numbers to the college: Hence the instruction seems to require skilful tutors, of accurate and systematic mind, rather than ardent and inventive masters.
You have to work for huge classes instead of individuals; you must lower your flag and reef your sails to wait for the dull sailors; you grow departmental, routinary, military almost with your discipline and college police. But what doth such a school to form a great and heroic character? What abiding Hope can it inspire? What Reformer will it nurse? What poet will it breed to sing to the human race? What fiery soul will it send out to warm a nation with his charity?
What tranquil mind will it have fortified to walk with meekness in private and obscure duties, to wait and to suffer? Is it not manifest that our academic institutions should have a wider scope; that they should not be timid and keep the ruts of the last generation, but that wise men thinking for themselves and heartily seeking the good of mankind, and counting the cost of innovation, should dare to arouse the young to a just and heroic life; that the moral nature should he addressed in the school-room, and children should he treated as the high-born candidates of truth and virtue?
So to regard the young child, the young man, requires, no doubt, rare patience: This refers back to Genius and Drill because Charles thought about doing something and actually went out and executed it. Without trying and attempting to do something, how can one hope to get something done?
I believe that Emerson did an excellent job of explaining how difficult and challenging it is for someone to try and learn so many different types of material. Without patience from others, one may feel stressed and pressured and way out of their comfort zone that they push away the education being taught and focus on trying to keep up with everyone else. Emerson's message and purpose for writing his essay is to show that people need to give others more time and to wait for them to catch up to where they need to be.
If teachers are more focused on just getting through the material needed to be taught in a classroom, are the students actually learning the material or are the teachers just trying to keep their jobs? Is teaching education more important than learning the education?
Also, when Emerson mentioned that nature is patient while some people aren't really got me thinking about how nature is very excepting of those who need more time to understand certain things. If nature can wait why can't we? This made me realize how, in some situations, actually learning new things isn't as important as it should be. With this being said, Emerson has a very valid point with our educational system and how it works.
If people want to learn something, others should be patient and give them a gentle push so they don't get too far behind or on the wrong track.