Self Reliance

Topics: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance, Friendship Pages: 4 (1431 words) Published: March 13, 2014

“Self Reliance” on Role Models

Ralph Wald Emerson, a transcendentalist, wrote “Self Reliance” with thoughts that would end up starting arguments between people. In 1841, when Emerson wrote “Self Reliance,” people were not ready for such a strong viewpoint by Emerson that argues that Conformity kills an individual. By doing this Emerson started something to what today is known as American individualism. In “Self Reliance,” Emerson has many specific points, but one of them deals with role models interfering with what a persons personal talents. I personally do not agree with Emerson. I believe that in the world today role models are great to have.

In “Self Reliance,” Emerson talks about Aversion. Aversion can best be described as a strong dislike towards something. In the end meaning that self reliance is a strong dislike towards conformity. Emerson even states,” Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion,” (3). Even Emerson contradicts with his own views a little bit. Emerson believes that having a role model will cause a person to try and be somebody that they are not, which would cause the rest of society to see that and look down upon that. Emerson goes on to say,” Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of our own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world,” (7). This explains that Emerson believes that a person should stick to their self and be able to rely on their self for everything. Along with that a person should not need a role model or the media to influence how they should be. Emerson believes and argues that being self-reliant is a good thing. Personally I agree with him because not being self reliant and learning to depend on others will only hurt you at some point in your future. Learning to be...
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