Breaking Down the Authors We Love

One example of writing I would love to attempt to emulate is “Walden” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I love love love transcendentalism so much. I was first introduced to this piece by my most beloved teacher my junior year of high school. I had to read this piece as a part of our “uncovering your soul” unit. What better example could there be than this? If you aren’t familiar with this, this piece is about how Henry David Thoreau moved to a cabin in the woods for two years. He looked at this as an opportunity to experiment with his writing. I really like the structure of this piece specifically. Considering the context, Emerson was speaking as if he was talking about his life to himself. The artistic journalism in this really draws me to the piece as a whole. I found that through this he really allowed himself to dig deep into his soul in order to find his true writing voice, removed from all of the influences of society. I hope to emulate this kind of voice through my coming projects!


One example of writing I consider to be beautifully written as well as intellectually stimulating is “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf. I was first introduced to this piece last year in my English 125 class. At first read I found the words kind of confusing to my brain and wasn’t sure how I really felt about it. By the end of the course, I ended up not only understanding but loving it enough to write a 12-page research paper about the ideas portrayed in it. The message, or rather the “beauty myth” told in this piece refers to the portrayal of beauty women feel pressured by not only in social media, but also by their peers and friends. The language Wolf uses in this piece is really powerful. She speaks in a more prevailing tone, letting everyone know that she is bothered by this topic and has something to say about it. Really breaking this piece down, Wolf begins with the idea that society poisons our freedom, “infused with notion of beauty is a dark vein of self-hatred, physical obsession, terror of aging and dreaded lost control” (2). I love how beautiful her language is in this line, but also how true it reins not only to me but most likely a large amount of the female population of this time. She continues by referring to the beauty myth and its negativity it has had and will continue to have for the rest of time. She uses this thick yet picturesque phraseology, which draws me so much to this piece. Intellectually, she really jam-packs this piece with a ton of facts. She really did her research, which I also love! If I were to be taking a more research-based focus on my project, I would definitely look to emulate her intellect. But one thing I definitely can take away from this for my own projects is the level of emotion and passion she feels about this topic. I hope to come off this strong in my piece as well!

One thought to “Breaking Down the Authors We Love”

  1. Nikki – great post! I hope to someday find my true writing voice just as Emerson did. Perhaps I, too, should like in a cabin in the woods for two years… I’m very fascinated by Wolf’s idea of the “beauty myth” and the influence of women in the media in general. I think the topic is profound and poignant (just the kind of emotion we all hope to portray in Projects 1 and 2). Thanks for introducing Wolf’s piece to me! I will definitely add it to my bucket list 🙂

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