“It seems as if a great deal were attainable in a world where there are so many marriages and decisive battles ….”
– El Dorado by R.L Stevenson.
” El Dorado ” by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the most famous and inspiring essays about the journey for the travellers .
“ El Dorado ” means gilded one in Spanish .
It is a legendary city or historical region of the New World , often thought to be in South America that was fabled for its great wealth of gold and precious jewels and eagerly sought by 16th and 17th century explorers including Sir Walther Raleigh.
This imaginary land of fabulous gold is a symbol of the unattainable
El Dorado essay by R.L Stevenson is about the journey of travellers which is more pleasurable than arriving at the destination .
Stevenson, who was fond of traveling , expounds here his philosophy of traveling without ever resting .
According to him
” There is always a new horizon for onward looking men .”
He discovers the secrets of happiness in the fact that our hopes and aspirations striving goes on for life .
” Our hopes are inaccessible like stars and the term of hoping is prolonged until the end of life .”
Incessant striving and perpetual chase for something make life meaningful and fruitful rendering perennial pleasure to a man .
Stevenson says “An aspiration is a joy forever ” .
Desire and curiosity are two eyes through which man sees the world in the most enchanted and captivating colours .
Desire and curiosity needs to be satisfied and perpetually renewed to keep up the interest in one’s life .
Stevenson mentions a story of a young fellow who finished the works of Thomas Carlyle and weeped about no book of Carlyle left to read .
Alexander the Great wept because he has no countries to conquer .
He states that one who volume or measure his interest and desire has a fear to come to an end and be left with nothing to accompany his last stage of journey.
Desire and curiosity is what keeps man continuing to exist .
“Interests are only plucked up to sow themselves again ,like mustard “.
Stevenson further says ,
” And when we discover a continent or cross a chain of mountains , it is only to find another ocean or another plain upon the further side . “
Life can be thrilling and exciting when we go forward led by desire and curiosity.
“Aspirations “ means desire to have more and more knowledge and experience in life .
Aspirations can keep us going, making our life worth living .
Stevenson points out that even a small corner of earth can offer us something new to start . Life and nature have infinite riches to be explored by curiosity and hence ,the journey of traveling continues life long .
He concludes by advising man to remain engaged in some noble pursuits.
” To travel hopefully is better than to arrive and the true success is to labour .”
About Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis ( Balfour) Stevenson was a Scottish novelist ,poet , essayist and travel writer .
He was born in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850 .
His fourth four year life was a nearly constant journey in search of adventure and relief from the agonies of tuberculosis ,with which he was afflicted from early childhood .
Stevenson attempted every species of writing but it is chiefly as an essayist that he continues to live .He was essentially an artist in words .He was an amazing storyteller ,an acute and sensitive critic , a genial and whole hearted lover of life .He was a master of rich , resilient prose style .
There is a kind of primitivism in his writing which wins over the reader by its message of courage and virility – the traits which characterize Stevenson’s own life.
Stevenson As an Essayist
Stevenson is considered one of the greatest essayists of the Victorian Age .He was influenced by Wiliam Hazlitt .
He was a personal essayist and he himself became the subject matter of his essays .His essays are like mirrors which reflect his personality and show real aspects of his life .
Stevenson’s essays are filled with whimsical paradoxes , keen and witty as those of Bernal Shaw . His work is invariably ethical.
He wrote essays on different topics such as nature , philosophy , morality , children science etc.
Few of his essays deal with human miseries and problems of human life .
Some of his essays and other works are ,
. Travels with a Donkey, Virginibus Puerisque ,Familiar Studies of Men and Books , New Arabian Nights , Treasure Island , Prince Otto, A Child’s Garden of Verses ,More New Arabian Nights., The Dynamiter. StrangEnglish Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Kidnapped , El Dorado , Memories and Portraits etc.
His essays are highly personal and autobiographical. He was a craftsman and artist who cared passionately about his writings.
Hence , we can say Stevenson was a versatile genius of his age .