Self-reliance Essay

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1.	The essay that I elected to read and analyze was "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

2.	The Transcendental Movement held a strong opinion that one should have complete faith in oneself. Emerson, being an avid transcendentalist, believed in this philosophy. He supported this concept that we should rely on our own intuition and beliefs. "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string." Emerson, along with the Transcendental Movement, believed in the vitality of self-reliance. One must have confidence and belief in oneself. "…the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it." Once one has reliance upon oneself, he can
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These people, more often than not, turn out to be correct, and later generations benefit from their genius. The "outcast" has become great, and his name will live forever, or until somebody new comes along to defy his teachings.

	I was drawn to this statement because it is so true. It has been proven time and time again that those who elect to be different are banished from their communities. After their death, unfortunately, they are appreciated for their greatness, and they are newly regarded as heroes. Emerson himself, along with the Transcendental Movement, were not fully appreciated until years after their deaths. The true truthfulness behind this statement reflects a major flaw of society.

	b).	"The effect of society was not to strengthen the individual, but to breed conformity and fear."

	This statement reflects Emerson’s conflict with society. In his eyes, society was created in order to enforce rules that were generally accepted as correct. In the event that someone disagreed with these rules, he would be punished and reprimanded for his "sin." Society cannot exist if this is not true; however, Emerson saw this as a direct violation of the rights of the individual. The individual cannot succeed in society; the individual is different, and society scorns that which is different. Society is a breeding ground for
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