The education system has been discussed by lawmakers and reformers on how to make it better. In the essay, “Education” by Ralph Emerson, a renowned transcendentalist poet, philosopher and essayist during the 19th century, contends against the mechanized education system practised by schools in aims to persuade teachers to espouse the natural education method. This essay transpires during the early industrial revolution in the United States where education was paramount for advancement. Throughout the essay Emerson believes that learning should be based on a child’s curiosity rather than forced, however, he also understands that genius is developed by a basic education. Thus, in the essay, “Education,” Ralph Emerson effectively persuades educators that children should learn at their own capacity and should be nurtured with patience if they want the most out of them through analogies, paradoxes and anecdotes paired with a strong edifying tone.
Emerson commences his essay by expounding on the reasons educators should respect the child to introduce his preferred educational system. He applies the paradox “genius and drill” to explain his educational system and supports that with insight to describe the natural competence of a child. He does this to emphasize the complexity and development of children’s mind and that they need the patience to develop their geniuses. To emphasize on the drill in the paradox, Emerson employs short, simple sentences like, “Give a boy accurate perceptions and pardon in him no blunder” to obliged educators with what they have to drill in children. These short sentences relate to the audience by making the sentence bigger than its meaning and appeal to the author’s credibility to persuade the audience confidently. In the following paragraphs after the paradox of genius and drill, Emerson uses long sentences to explain the application of genius.
The change in sentence structure makes the readers read thoroughly at a slower pace and aids him in elucidating his educational method through illustrative and declarative sentences. Emerson explains his education method by using an anecdote, he does this by telling the story of how Charles Fellows achieve his goal without using the standard educational system. This anecdote appeals to ethos by providing a real-life example for his audience of how his theory is applied.