“Self-Reliance” is a masterpiece written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was and still is considered as one of the greatest philosophers. Reading his works helps individuals to get the essence of personal development and carve the American individualism ethics. The objective of the following paper is to provide the response to the short story that is only 30 pages long but with a deep and profound meaning.
When I had to deal with the term “transcendentalism” for the first time, I could not figure out what that meant. However, reading the work “Self-Reliance” has helped me to understand what was the main idea of people, who were considered to be transcendentalists. Thereafter, transcendentalism is s a form of rebellion against something people used to live with and tried to be different from (Lewis n.p.).
The work is about our the personality and identity of every individual. I have understood that with the phase “put his heart into his work and done his best”, which meant much more to me than it was when Emerson tried to portray the real value of men’s words (Emerson 2). The sense of being insecure of the author is felt throughout the pages, but this is a common natural behavioral trait of every person on the planet.
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For me, the essay is actually a motivation to go and act. Thus, first, I had to listen what is right and wrong and then proceed with actions. It sounded as an exhortation to some extent since the writer was trying to establish himself through the mentioned essay. It was courageous of him as it was extremely difficult to show one’s real thoughts and ideas in the time when Emerson was living. It was a time when church and universities ruled the people’s minds, and it was hard to object the power’s principles.
The essay has motivated me to look into my inner world as it was all about my own emotions and the deepest personal instincts that really matter. There are certain almost impossible to sense traits of the conflict between the outer surrounding and inner world, as the author tries to ignore the shaping factors of the environment has on individuals by concentrating only on a soul and its internal feelings. While reading, I have immersed in a very “moral” environment and deep “indoctrination” of moral codes obviously imposed by the church. I have also noticed that the essay is more masculine-oriented rather than neutral in terms of the genders concept. Despite self-trust is not a typical feature of the man’s character, Emerson obviously believes in that.
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The essay does not have the same simplistic fervor and it made me feel energized, exited, and deeply concerned about my inner emotions as people can try to look into their own minds and souls to see what is going on there. This made me feel said as human being can be imprisoned by the prospective of the world he or she has in mind and might never find out the truth. I cannot even say for sure that people know any truth about anything at all, as all we see is concentrated within our mind and “dictates” the patterns of our behaviors.
I also liked the passage about “inner gyroscope” as it is a vivid example of how young people’s behavior might be proper for them at the same time being an “unstable search of identity” for parents (Emerson, 1841).
To conclude, I would like to mention that the essay sounded very personal too me, but motivated me to rethink what is really right and wrong in our inner worlds Emerson’s insight is very profound; he shared the most intimate thoughts that not every writer would do even nowadays. The essay is definitely worth reading.