Emerson - Essay Example

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Emerson

Emerson, a former preacher forced from his church for preaching his own radical ideas on Christianity, uses strong arguments to try and get us to understand his individual philosophical perspective. Emerson tries to be the embodiment of every man not merely the writer/intellectual. He seeks affinity with all men striving for individuality, especially those disillusioned with society's constraints. Just because not conforming to the expectations of society was a compelling discovery for Emerson, one hundred and fifty years ago, today it is unlikely to rally the same enthusiasm Emerson had then. Especially when Emerson exhorts:
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world." (Emerson, pg. 876)
Have we found that power to trust ourselves "And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort and advancing on Chaos and the Dark" (Emerson, pg. 875)
"Self-Reliance" expressed the need for creative ...Show more

Summary

In the essay "Self-reliance" once a man has acquired life's bare necessities and feels adequately accommodated in the areas of food and shelter, Emerson then believes he has an obligation to seek his true self. He believes this is done by establishing individuality, trusting instincts, and re-evaluating established thoughts by thinking creatively…
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