Self-reliance: Transcendentalism and Emerson

“Self-Reliance” Juny Bernadin AML2000 12-Week 2 Professor Andrew Smith October 29, 2011 Thesis Statement ‘Self-Reliance’ has its value in its boldness, its construction, and mature attitudes toward evenness and letdown. In addition, Emerson’s confident logic seems impregnable. To Emerson, not only is self-doubt absolutely out of the question, but it is a virtue to believe that everyone believes as you do. He writes that there is no value in life but personal principles and goals, and that society is irrelevant. “Self-Reliance” “Self-Reliance,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, is a persuasive essay promoting the ways of inspirational views.

He uses this essay to advance a major point using a structure that helps his argument. In Emerson’s essay, he begins his concluding thoughts with a statement that greater “self-reliance” and brings a revolution. He then applies this idea to society and all of its aspects, including religion, education, and art. This brings Emerson to a new, more precise focus on how societies never advance; rather it recedes on one side. This shocking, yet intriguing, idea supports and increases the uses of tone, image, example, and the consequence of ignoring his opinion.

The result is an accumulation of ideas into the major points that, “Nothing can bring you peace but you. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. ” With the major points and devices used by Emerson defined, it is now possible to examine in greater detail how he persuades the reader, starting with the use of tone. The use of word choice, sentence length, and structure, as well as many other factors set the tone of this paper. The result is a paper that has a provocative tone. A paper written in this authoritative style is helpful in his affiliation. It pulls the reader into the author’s ideas, making them your own.

The tone of the paper allows descriptions to be extremely powerful in promoting Emerson’s ideas. The descriptions are numerous throughout the paper and there is a deep-seated one towards the end of the essay that really helps to shape it. “Society is a wave. The wave move onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. ” The clear metaphor of society to the wave and the particles of water to the people distinctively demonstrate Emerson’s idea the society never advances. If a man is not self-confident and is unable to share himself with others, as people die so too does their experience.

Nevertheless, the ability to be self-reliant eliminates this loss of experience. Although this metaphor is strong enough on its own to provide all of the support necessary for the idea that society never advances, Emerson adds to it and his other ideas with examples. The first examples used to support the lack of progression of society. The “civilized” man of the Americas and Europe compared to the “savages” of New Zealand. It is here that Emerson brings into question the digression in physical strength of men as he makes “advances. ” These advances do just as much harm as good, making man lazy and indolent.

Other areas that Emerson scrutinizes are the loss of skills that only years ago were essential, such as the ability to tell time by the sun, and the loss of attention to detail. With Emerson’s ideas clearly imbedded in our mind, and added by his style of inductive writing, he uses the consequences of ignoring him as the final blow in this battle to persuade. Although no consequence is clearly define, Emerson has made it more than clear what will happen if people do not become more individualistic. Society will stay as it

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is, no matter how many technological advances made.

This fear of being no better nor advanced than previous eras is the most powerful motivator for change of all. Emerson’s challenge not to rely on fortune, rather to make things happen for you is exactly what he want it to be, motivational and persuasive. Conclusion In conclusion, the promotion of transcendentalism in Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” is the promotion of a way of better living according to Emerson. The structural support of self-reliance in “Self-Reliance” through tone, image, example, and the consequence of ignoring Emerson’s opinion achieves the goal of persuasion.

This produces the final result of a vote for independence, telling, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. ” The promise of the transcendentalist of personal peace with the achievement of self-reliance would be nothing more than an outlandish idea without Emerson’s ability to structure and support his idea. Reference 1. AML2000 12 “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Page 29 222, Oct 2011 2. AML2000 12 “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Page 223, 29 Oct 2011

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