High School Student

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord, Massachusetts Pages: 2 (585 words) Published: March 3, 2013
“The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

Understanding Defines Change
Psychologists Scott Scheer, Stephen Gavazzi, and David Blumenkrantz undertook a comprehensive review and analysis of the psychoanalytic literature that discussed the rites of passage in adolescence; from the reading, they derived two truths concerning an adolescent’s rite of passages. Primarily, as Scheer, Gavazzi, and Blumenkrantz state, “Not all transitional events necessarily indicate the occurrence of life transitions” (1); however, “It is believed that both cognitive interpretation and integration are required before the event genuinely becomes a significant transition or rite of passage” (1). Essentially, to label a singular event as one that ignited a life transition, one must understand the resulting effects of the event. Additionally, according to Scheer, Gavazzi, and Blumenkrantz, the event that marks the end of the transitional period between adolescence and adulthood defines the rite. Principally, a singular event cannot accelerate one’s progression into adulthood without one realizing the effects or changes that the event caused. In “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson described the idealistic depiction of the Romantic hero’s rite of passage. Emerson states that “The power which resides in him is new in nature” (1), and he believes that a person should seek the meaning of that power for himself. Emerson’s statement that one doesn’t know the power that they have until one finds it (1) falls directly in line with Scheer, Gavazzi, and Blumenkrantz’s interpretation of one’s rite of passage. Scheer, Gavazzi, and Blumenkrantz postulate that one cannot arrive at adulthood without first understanding a transitional event. Similarly, Emerson reveals, in the quote at the top of the page, that one does not know his unique power until he has tried to find it himself. Likewise, if...
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