Emerson American Literature

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Melissa Mulkey
American Literature-45
Individual Work
Week 2
1/25/13

There are a lot of significant quotes in Emerson’s Self-Reliance essay. The two that I find the most interesting is “we but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.” The second one I find interesting is “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” There is also the style of writing, tone, and imagery he uses in his essay. In his quote, “we but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents.” has a lot of meaning to me. I think this means that we are afraid to show people our true selves. A lot of people wear a mask when they are around other people, because of being scared of being their self. I have seen people put on a show in front of company, but when the company is gone they go right back to acting like they would from the get go. The next quote I found interesting was “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” I believe this is saying that if you can trust yourself, then you can do whatever you want. You are confident of your success that you believe in yourself. You can’t let others affect you by what they say or think. It’s just like decisions I have made in my life, if I based them off of everyone else’s judgment I would have never gotten anywhere. Emerson’s writing style was remarkable to me. He had a very well prepared thesis, he provided examples, and had things to back it up. I noticed that he likes to refer to historical and literary figures in his essay. He used figurative language to express his self in the essay. His essay is very well written, and I agree when it was said that students have a hard time understanding his writing. Once I understood what he wrote, it became clear of what I thought about it.The imagery that I found in Emerson’s essay included the imagery of nature. As far as the tone, I would say that it is very inspirational, and as if he...
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