Emerson’s “Self Reliance”
October 27, 2012
After reading the opening paragraph of Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance”, I was very moved and impressed. I have always been told that Emerson was an amazing writer, but I had no idea how great he really was. I can take so many quotes from this essay to talk about so being limited to just picking one or two was the most difficult part for me. After careful consideration I have found two that I was moved by, the first is with in the first couple of sentences, and it says “To believe your own thought, to believe at what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men,-that is genius. “ The other passage that stood out for me was the one in which he wrote: “There is a time in every man’s educations when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.” I think that Emerson’s tone throughout his essay is that serious, and formal. He believes in what he is writing, and so he writes it in a very formal and serious manner. I think he does that so that his readers will take what he is writing to heart and not just brush it off. With the first quote I think Emerson was trying to say that if we all believe in what we are doing, and we believe it to be right and true than it must be. We as humans are always looking for acceptance and approval from others, and I think Emerson was just trying to say that with belief in yourself you do not need to have others approval that yours and yours alone is all you need. In the first passage I do not notice any kind of significant imagery. The second passage I chose Emerson talks about our education, and how we have to accept out education as our own. He writes that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide, by those statements I take that as saying to envy that another is better than you makes you look less smart, and that to want to...
References: Ralph Waldo Emerson “Self-Reliance”
CCi Custom Edition (2008), Introduction to American Literature, Boston: Pearson Publishing
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