Comparitive Essay Emerson and Edgar Allan Poe

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Comparative Essay: Self Reliance

Self reliance represents independence due to one's own capabilities, judgment, or resources. Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson both promote self reliance. However, they express their similar opinions through different channels. Poe's "The Purloined Letter" and Emerson's "Self Reliance" present their singular view that self reliance is an important part of achieving success. However, there is dichotomy present within their styles of writing. Emerson, compared to Poe, is much more straightforward.aIn his essay “Self Reliance” Emerson strongly advertises a life of individualism rather than a life of dependence on others. He states that all successful people followatheir own ideals and stay away from the norm. He also believes that society carries our personal minds to a lower level and never allows us to prosper. “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.”

Emerson uses many techniques to enhance his writing. Emerson changes his writing point of view numerous times in his essay to strengthen his thesis. In the first paragraph only he goes from first person to third person. These changes in voice allow him to directly address his audience. Emerson also applies many metaphors in his writing to compare those who are dependent with certain ideals in life and those who are self reliant with different ideals in life.

Poe, compared to Emerson , writes very fluently. He also advertises self-reliance indirectly through his profound short story about a missing letter and a detective named Dupin. Dupin refuses to work with the rest of the police on the case and follows his own instincts to find the letter. Dupin is successful and finds the letter himself. Dupin embodies that self reliant characteristic. In order to find the letter, he acts and thinks differently than the rest of the police. “Moreover, the police used only logical, methodical reasoning. The minister, on the other hand, used...
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