Emersons individualism essay

William Emersona Unitarian minister. He was named after his mother's brother Ralph and his father's great-grandmother Rebecca Waldo.

Emersons individualism essay

Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. He believes American society stresses conformity. Emerson believes one of the two major barriers to individuality is conformity.

Society wants to control the individual and wants everyone to be alike. Society wants to impose rules, laws, Emersons individualism essay government on its people so they can be puppet like. Emerson says that man must overcome this desire to conform, be his own person, and rely on his own internal instincts.

Emerson goes on to say that what society is really after is conformity. Society wants everyone to conform to the way it wants it to be, whereas self-reliance wants man to be a unique individual and express his own thoughts with confidence.

It is also easy to think your own thoughts and not express them for fear of rejection. However, it is not easy to keep your life in line with your beliefs or to express your beliefs to society.

The man that can do this is a great man. Anyone that conforms to society no longer has an identity. When man is his own person and is original, he distinguishes himself from the rest of society. Being an individual sets you apart from the common man, who is like everyone else in society.

Emerson believes that if modern American society continues to be a society of conformists, then the idea of freedom of thought will be lost. Many people today find freedom of thought offensive. Emerson says this freedom of thought should be encouraged in order to preserve the value and meaning of our own ideas.

Society should not trust solely what others have thought and made known, but what each individual himself believes. American society continues to place emphasis on trusting in others. Emerson says this leads to a loss in trust of ourselves. Man will continue to doubt himself and suppress his own thoughts if he does not strive to express his thoughts.

In an ever-changing society, Emerson believes it is especially important to assert oneself as an individual.

If society continues to modernize and the people of the society remain the same, conforming people, then nothing will ever change. Emerson says it takes people who are willing to stand up for what they believe and people who can think for themselves to create a society that can move into the future.

The people who stand out and voice their ideas are the people who will help society advance. Freedom of expression is a popular tool of Americans.


While Americans do reference the past and what other scholars have expressed, they do not rely on it.Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay called for staunch individualism.

" Self-Reliance " is an essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas.

Lev Ginsburg Debate Essays Emerson's Individualism Emerson's "transcendentalism" is essentially a romantic individualism, a philosophy of life for a new people who had overthrown their colonial governors and set about conquering a new continent, in hopes of establishing new and unique views.4/4(1).

Ralph Waldo Emerson lectures and sermons, c. – (10 linear feet) are housed at Houghton Library at Harvard University. Ralph Waldo Emerson letters to Charles King Newcomb, March 18 – July 25 (22 items) are housed at the Concord Public Library. Emerson's essay, "Self-Reliance", is based on this idea of individualism.

In this essay, he expresses his disdain for man's dependence on traditional society. Throughout "Self-Reliance", Emerson stresses the importance of nonconformity, freedom of thought, and leslutinsduphoenix.coms: 2.

Emerson doesn't use the term "individualism" in "Self-Reliance," which was published in , when the term "individualism" was just beginning to gain traction. Tocqueville unintentionally popularized the signifier "individualism" with the publication of Democracy in America.

Apr 15,  · The text analysis focuses on Emerson’s definition of individualism, his analysis of society, and the way he believes his version of individualism can transform — indeed, save — American society/5(6).

Emersons individualism essay
Emerson's "Self-Reliance" - A Close Reading Lesson Plan