Emerson Materialism

Decent Essays
When did materialism become such a deeply ingrained part of man’s sense of self? Since the dawn of time mankind has had an almost carnal desire to possess the unattainable. To conquer and claim without much regard to moral obligation. To control and take whenever and whatever they pleased without much consequence. Mankind is grappling with what it means to have a sense of self, because essentially, you are what you own in modern society. Famed writer and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson explores the possible root of mankind’s infatuation with possessions in the following quote, “Men have looked away from themselves and at things so long that they have come to esteem the religious, learned and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate…show more content…
Owning object’s/ mental attitudes gives people a sense of self/esteem, it perpetuates a greedy stereotype about mankind, and can lead to very negative after effects like being overtly selfish and self absorbed. Owning things gives individuals a high, a power like they’ve never experienced before. It gives just enough control to be sated and esteemed for a little while, but not enough to keep them from wanting to have complete control of all aspects of their life. Self reliance and assuredness is something many people hope to achieve during their lifetime. There’s something very reassuring to know that even if no one else has your back when times are tough, you can always rely on yourself and your possessions. When a person has that deep level of internal self reflection established early on in…show more content…
Man wants esteem, so man turns away from God to possess worldly, materialistic objects. The possessive need becomes bigger and bigger until suddenly it’s not just esteem that man wants, it a need to sate the greed that lives within him as well. My Wood by E.M. Forster, Forster demonstrates the effects of ownership on himself after he purchases his own property with the earnings from his novel. He says in reference to his property that “it makes [him] feel it ought to be larger.” Owning things can make people lose sight of who they are as a person and can deeply affect their behavior around other people.A person who owns more expensive things can be viewed as someone who is materialistic, and deep down they don’t fully understand who they are as a person. People can own expensive things and have completely different interpretations about why they are buying those things. When people buy expensive things for themselves it makes them seem self-absorbed because others don’t get to have the luxury of buying nice things for themselves. A person that doesn’t always have the latest of gadgets and the fanciest of clothes are far more understanding really get the meaning of owning something valuable. However, a person who owns everything they ever wanted, take things for granted and doesn’t truly appreciate what they have and from there is where greed can take over and consume a person’s
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