Transcendentalism In Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance

Decent Essays

The ideas portrayed by the Transcendentalists would impact an individual’s life positively. The reasons behind this are believing in one’s true self, nature is key, living with truth, and acting on what one believes in. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self Reliance” was an outstanding piece of literature to read. He had multiple points that are worth noting, but the best one for an individual to live from is to believe in themselves. In the text, Emerson writes, “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within” (533). What this passage is saying is that people need to go with their gut, so they feel best equiped with themselves. Emerson adds by writing, “My life is not an apology, but a life” (536). He makes it clear that he is living for himself, and should never be sorry to others for his life. This is positive for an individual’s life because it fortunes them with the ability to see life as they want to, not how others think they should see it. That reason is perfectly put into words by Emerson when he writes, “It is harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it” (536). Staying inconsistent and not conforming are two modes of his text. He believes that following these ideas are best for one’s life, and it really is. If one was to conform, they lose their own uniqueness and identity. Emerson furthers this by saying, “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s

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