Emerson's Self-Reliance Analysis

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To Be Unique
To a large extent, individuals succumb to society’s demands such as thriving for happiness and acceptance. In today’s society, the society encourages people to get good friends, jobs, good looks, and get luxurious things. It is not a bad thing but at the same time, it is also not a good thing because it may hinder an individual’s true self. If not followed for example, performing an “ill-action” that the society finds unacceptable, such as sharing a belief of homosexuals should be allowed to marry will most likely be shunned. In addition, following the society is a bad thing because it encourages adolescents – preferably middle school girls – to use make up and follow the appearances of female models in a fashion magazine. As a result, the society controls how a person’s life should be like rather than expressing their beliefs which can possibly make a difference. In one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays, Self-Reliance, shows a variety or a step-by-step solution on how to become an individual without giving into the society’s demands or other people’s opinions. Emerson believes that a person’s behavior should be expressed through his or her self-trust, non-conformity, and an independence of thought. Hence, to become an individual without the society preventing a person from reaching his or her true self, one must realize his or her beliefs; avoid being discouraged of what other people may think, and not regretting decisions.

First, rather than being told what to do or what to become like a puppet, an individual should realize his or her goal and move forward. In Emerson’s essay, he mentions “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men – that is genius” (259-260). In other words, rather than trying to go with the flow in the society, just freely do anything that brings satisfaction. It is not guaranteed to be easy but using original ideas is even more satisfying because it may become a...
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