Nonconformity

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Essay #4Trevor White

Herman Melville and Henry David Thoreau present their writing pieces as different forms of nonconformity. The essays both represent Ralph Emerson's essay, Self-Reliance, but they do so in different ways. In Thoreau's essay, Solitude, the narrator has removed himself from society and into solitude in a cabin in the deep woods. The narrator displays nonconformity by not taking on the normal daily routines and an average person in society. The nonconformity exhibited in Bartleby, the Scrivener is Bartleby not conforming at the same level of his co-workers in the law office. The law office in Bartleby's eyes is stark place that only brings him displeasure. The transcendentalist essay by Ralph Emerson, Self-Reliance, is composed of many simple transcendentalist ideas. Solitude and Bartleby, the Scrivener both represent the simple ideas expressed in Self-Reliance, but the essays do so in different manners. All three essays have attributes of transcendentalism, but they display these ideas differently. Henry David Thoreau's Solitude is a transcendentalist essay which displays the narrator as a nonconformist toward society. While the rest of society resides as a group in towns or cities, performing similar actions, the narrator of Solitude resides and an individual in the deep woods. The common society is composed of families working together. Common duties such as working a job, maintaining a household, attending school, attending social events, and helping others in the community are duties people in a society would fulfill. The narrator does not participate in any of these daily duties. He believes being secluded and alone in nature is a full and rich life. He is a nonconformist in the sense that he does not act as the rest of society. Instead of running to the store for groceries to take care of the family, he sits in the midst of pure nature and self-reflects to gain satisfaction. "Some of my pleasantest hours were during long rain...
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