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Compare the depictions of society and its effects on the individual in Emerson's Self-Reliance and Thoreau's Walden - Essay Example

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Compare the depictions of society and its effects on the individual in Emerson's Self-Reliance and Thoreau's Walden

Society is not meant to be carbon copies of each other which is why we were created differently. He further sees society as deceiving themselves by not expressing themselves.
He basically uses the same maxim as Aristotle “Know Thyself”. Moreover, he instructs the reader to explore the person that they truly are. He acknowledges that a person presents themselves as the person that they want society to see but that beneath that is an entirely different human being and that it is the inside person that should be exposed, not the carbon copies that we demonstrate to others simply to insure general acceptance. He also makes the reader wonder why it is that acceptance by others is so wanted by society. Why is the acceptance by society such a prized virtue? It is not, he answers because there is no quality in pleasing others for the sake of acceptance.
minks and muskrats.” Clearly, Thoreau had the same sentiments as Emerson. He too felt that society had spent far too much time deceiving itself into copying one another. Additionally, he makes it clear that it is the retreat from society that allows an individual to figure out who they are and what their capabilities are. The key is to have the courage to find yourself. Further, he sees that society is its’ own down fall. By living his solitary existence, he notices that there really is not much that an individual needs and that through solitude living, one truly finds out what it is that they need and do not need in life.
Finally, in comparing the two writers, it is clear that both maintain a certain loathing for society and what it has become. Additionally, they advise the reader as to what they will become if they simply decide to become a robot designed by the futile mores and fickle mandates that society endorses. It is up to the individual to decide what they need or do ...Show more
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I think that this sums up perfectly what Emerson was trying to say about society. He clearly views society as a group that is bent on copying each other…
Compare the depictions of society and its effects on the individual in Emersons Self-Reliance and Thoreaus Walden
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