Analysis Of `` Leaves Of Grass `` By Walt Whitman

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During the 19th-century people were deterred from the idea that through Christ you found your righteousness and the ability to be reliant not only Him, but upon yourself as well. Ralph Waldo Emerson dug deeper into this theory of being a self-reliant person in his writing, “Self-Reliance”. His rhetorical language throughout the speech, turned book, he explains exactly how an individual of the 19th century, becomes self-reliant. Although he was writing to a specific audience, the core values and - for his time- wildly unorthodox theories of this speech are relatable still to this day. Not long after this book was published, Emerson’s acquaintance and fellow writer, Walt Whitman, countered his theories in “Leaves of Grass”, later called…show more content…
It’s like writing your own rules on life and actually living up to them. Much like Emerson also said shortly after that, “In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” (Emerson pg. 642). Here Emerson clearly states what everyone thinks and feels when reading powerful works of art, this could easily include the bible. Whenever we read the words we’ve so longed to say but forgotten how it releases a mystical feeling where for once we understand the words we so long to speak. This exhibits self-reliance because it boosts your trust in your own abilities; the reinforcement of the feelings or words you’ve forgotten along the way are a steady reminder of what you believe in and live by day-to-day. Another way Emerson establishes what it is like to be self-reliant is by stating, “The virtue in most request is conformity...” (Emerson pg. 643). Conformity is the act of being socially accepted by the world’s conventions or standards. Emmerson wrote against this, he strongly argued that anyone who conformed to societal standards. He made this very clear when he said, “Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” (Emerson pg. 643). The most profound thing that Emerson would have us take away from this reading would be to "Trust thyself," a motto that ties together his whole intent behind writing self-reliance. (Emerson pg. 642). To depend on another 's
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