Self Reliance

Good Essays
English 11, Period 3
22 September 2014
Becoming Self Reliant
It is often said that being independent is like learning how to walk. Many people start off crawling, but eventually they will succeed. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self­reliance, Emerson believes that self reliance is a quality that all humans must learn to achieve. Emerson uses imagery, metaphors, and allusions to prove that his beliefs on self reliance are valid and relevant in today’s society.
Everyday people rely on others to make them happy. They put their hopes into others to make them happy. They put their hopes into other individuals because they are unsure or unable to think for themselves. Emerson uses imagery to support his belief that everyone must rely on one’s self. Rather than being dependent on someone else, it is important to “Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron string.” (186) If a person has faith and assurance in themselves, they will find that they can be satisfied and content with their lives. When an individual is able to stand on their own feet and trust their intuition, they’ll be able to be among society while still doing what they truly believe.
In today’s culture being your own person is not something that is commonly seen. People often succumb to the pressure to fit in and follow the crowd. Emerson uses a metaphor to show that he feels each person has special gifts and abilities that can only be discovered on one’s own.
Everyone must come to the conclusion that “...envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of

good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot which is given to him till.” (185) Trying to be like everyone else will eventually rob a person of their identity. They will lose all individuality and become a copy of someone else. Nevertheless, people must realize that they

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