Self-reliance: Transcendentalism and Emerson

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Juny Bernadin

AML2000 12-Week 2
Professor Andrew Smith
October 29, 2011

Thesis Statement

'Self-Reliance' has its value in its boldness, its construction, and mature attitudes toward evenness and letdown. In addition, Emerson's confident logic seems impregnable. To Emerson, not only is self-doubt absolutely out of the question, but it is a virtue to believe that everyone believes as you do. He writes that there is no value in life but personal principles and goals, and that society is irrelevant.


“Self-Reliance,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a persuasive essay promoting the ways of inspirational views. He uses this essay to advance a major point using a structure that helps his argument. In Emerson's essay, he begins his concluding thoughts with a statement that greater "self-reliance" and brings a revolution. He then applies this idea to society and all of its aspects, including religion, education, and art. This brings Emerson to a new, more precise focus on how societies never advance; rather it recedes on one side. This shocking, yet intriguing, idea supports and increases the uses of tone, image, example, and the consequence of ignoring his opinion. The result is an accumulation of ideas into the major points that, “Nothing can bring you peace but you. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” With the major points and devices used by Emerson defined, it is now possible to examine in greater detail how he persuades the reader, starting with the use of tone.

The use of word choice, sentence length, and structure, as well as many other factors set the tone of this paper. The result is a paper that has a provocative tone. A paper written in this authoritative style is helpful in his affiliation. It pulls the reader into the author’s ideas, making them your own. The tone of the paper allows descriptions to be extremely powerful in...
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