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Essay on ralph waldo emerson self reliance


essay on ralph waldo emerson self reliance

of clients. Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? As soon as he has once acted or spoken with eclat, he is a committed person, watched by the sympathy or the hatred of hundreds, whose affections must now enter into his account. Equally memorable and influential on Walt Whitman is Emerson's idea that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." In Leaves of Grass, Whitman made of his contradictions a virtue by claiming for himself a vastness. The language of the essays is sufficiently poetical that Thoreau felt compelled to say critically of the essays"they were not written exactly at the right crisis to be poetry though inconceivably near." In History Emerson attempts to demonstrate the unity of experience of men. All things real are so by so much virtue as they contain. Continuing in this theme, Emerson argues against book knowledge entirely and in favor of lived experience: "Only so much do I know, as I have lived." Nature is the most important influence on the mind, he told his listeners, and it is the same mind. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. After studying the classics at the Boston Latin School, Emerson enrolled in Harvard College, graduating in 1821. Yet is the discontent of the multitude more formidable than that of the senate and the college. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency.

essay on ralph waldo emerson self reliance

Their rage is decorous and prudent, for they are timid as being very vulnerable themselves. Such is Calvinism, Quakerism, Swedenborgianism. In his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson became the most widely known man of letters in America, establishing himself as a prolific poet, essayist, popular lecturer, and an advocate of social reforms who was nevertheless suspicious of reform and reformers. Few and mean as my essay on speak for the earth gifts may be, I actually am, and do not need for my own assurance or the assurance of my fellows any secondary testimony. The intellect is vagabond, and the universal system of education fosters restlessness.


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