The assignment, then, is to bring to our discussions of Thoreau, Melville, Hawthorne, Whitman and Dickinson examples of how you can hear Emerson's voice in these other writers' works. I've assigned each of you to a specific work/specific due date according to these schedules:
When it's your turn, you'll come to that discussion session with two passages to share with the group, one from Emerson and the other from the work we're exploring that week. They should be short enough to read to the group in a couple minutes, and can even be just a couple well-chosen sentences. I'll post examples of what I'm looking for when we discuss The Scarlet Letter (see above).
The best way to do the assignment is probably first to recollect what Emerson said, by looking back through the orations and essays we read -- and the following passages from a text we didn't read, his first book:
Then as you read Walden or Moby-Dick and so on you can be listening for echoes of Emerson in the other text.
By the way, the title of this assignment isn't just stupid: Emerson's friends called him Waldo, not Ralph.