Aphorisms: How To Live Your Life An aphorism, by definition, is an observation that contains a general truth, or a concise statement of a scientific principle. In simpler terms, it is something a person can use to guide their own path in life. Everyone has their own path to follow, and any one person can create their own. Some aphorisms are easier to comprehend, like Benjamin Franklin’s, “Honesty is the best policy”, which is one that most people know and understand. Others, however, are not so easy to understand. These aphorisms, which tend to give the mind a little more work, are usually the most reliable. Transcendentalism is a topic that has a lot to do with aphorisms. Two of the most famous transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson and …show more content…
He believed that optimism and self-confidence were key factors in living a successful life. One of his most famous aphorisms is quite well known, “To be great is to be misunderstood” (Emerson 366). This quote is very inspirational to many, meaning that a person who does great things is not always understood by those who cannot do those great things. Sometimes people judge others for being different than them, having different views or beliefs, and they do not realize that what the misunderstood person is doing is so much greater than they can comprehend. Many can say they agree with Emerson’s aphorism, because everyone wants to be great and misunderstood. This inspires many people, including myself, to pursue their dreams and to ignore what others think about them, in turn boosting their own self-confidence, which is something that Emerson would …show more content…
Thoreau’s life was full of independent spirit. He tried to live by his own values, rather than society’s, which he considered materialistic. He wanted to be different, like most transcendentalists do. In one of his most famous works called Walden, he comes up with an amazing and inspirational aphorism, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer” (Thoreau 390). This aphorism is similar to one of Emerson’s most famous, but also gives a whole new perspective to the idea that everyone is different and everyone can accomplish their own goals independently. Personally, I believe that this is one of the most inspirational quotes of all, because it spoke to me very strongly. Remembering that you will not always be at the same pace as everyone else in life can sometimes be difficult, but it is something that everyone needs to think about. This aphorism can also remind a person to listen for their own drummer, especially if they have not found a purpose for their life yet. Hearing this quote for the first time compelled me to seek out my purpose and to begin to work towards my goals to eventually become
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Civil Disobedience Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau is an inspiring essay on unjust governments and not following peer pressure. His words are inspiring to us even today. Thoreau puts an interesting twist on individuality. Whitman talks about individuality in his essay Song of Myself. He says that you need to help others out, but make sure that you know yourself first.
In Self-Reliance, he talks about how people benefit from their hard work and enjoy it a lot more when they don’t accept help. Emerson is very straight forward with his opinion but does not try to blantely offend the audience like Thoreau does. He gives his audience an option to think about what he has said, rather than force it down their throats. Also, in Self-Reliance, he talks about how being different and misunderstood can be a good thing at times because many past geniuses were. Emerson gives examples to support his opinions and tries to convince the audience rather than trying to force the audience to see things from one viewpoint.
He was being himself in a world that was trying change him and make him something he is ultimately not. Emerson’s quote has a major relevance to The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier because of the many things Jerry Renault says and his act completing the greatest accomplishment of being yourself. Emerson’s quote “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” has a very important message. Emerson is trying to convey the message of self-acceptance.
The popular motivational speaker Tony Robbins has cited Emerson as an influence and has written about the importance of individuality and self-reliance in achieving
Grace Emerson Mr. Schimelfenyg English 11 Honors 9 January 2023 Mr. Keating as a Transcendentalist “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” (Osmanski). Ralph Waldo Emerson once said these famous words. Emerson was a renowned transcendentalist, someone who believed that everyone was capable of accomplishing anything without the corruption of society. In The Dead Poet’s Society, Mr. Keating was the main English teacher. Emerson and his transcendentalism influenced Mr. Keating.
He believes that conformity and reliance on tradition and society stifles creativity and innovation, and it is only by trusting oneself that individuals can truly achieve greatness. Emerson stresses the importance of self-reliance as a means to avoid conformity and to live a fulfilled life. He encourages readers to embrace their own individuality and to avoid seeking validation from others. Emerson's ideas are a call to action for individuals to take control of their own lives and to trust in their own abilities and ideas. “In the woods too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough,” (Emerson 29).
Ralph Waldo Emerson uses multiple rhetorical devices such as metaphors, analogies, and allusions to argue his main point. The idea that one must rely on themselves and achieve greatness alone is told within these devices. The use of allusions in Emerson’s essay creates deeper understanding whilst supporting his point. These allusions cause the thought that if these historic people could achieve greatness despite nobody believing in them at first, you may be able to do the same. There are also analogies in this essay, mainly speaking about society’s disapproval about individuality and acceptance of conformity.
In his powerful Phi Beta Kappa address presented at Harvard, “The American Scholar”, Ralph Waldo Emerson asserts, “The scholar of the first age received into him the world around: brooded thereon; gave it a new arrangement of his own mind, and uttered it again. . . . It can stand, and it can go” (Emerson 1). By this quote, it can be easily interpreted that Emerson has a passion for writing and books as he speaks his beliefs. In fact, Emerson incorporates many of his beliefs throughout his speech, from unity in writing and society to the practice of new philosophies being formed in every generation. Emerson utilizes the rhetorical appeal of diction and the rhetorical fallacy of loaded words throughout his speech in order to depict his beliefs on
The quote “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” by Ralph Waldo Emerson is a powerful quote with many strong and positive meanings. It means that you shouldn’t let the world change you in any way, whether it is your personality, or the friends you hang out with, or even your physical appearance. You are managing your own life, so you must create it the way you want to. It also means that if you don’t care what people say about you and you continue to strive as your own person, you have met one of your life goals. Be that genuine and authentic person who stays positive throughout hard times.
It's as if Emerson wants people to do what they feel or what works out for each and every person. This relates to the purpose because he wants society to position themselves in following their own beliefs. Later, Emerson's tone shifts to a pompous tone when he starts using words like "contradict," "exclaim," and "misunderstood." Emerson does in order for the reader to know what is trying to be said. This helps him achieves his purpose by showing the reader that they should influence themselves and not
To begin, Emerson makes effective use of figurative language such as personification while emphasizing his comparison of nature and the attributes of man. He also uses paradox and with this he accentuates the idea that nature provides wisdom. However, the wisdom it furnishes can only answer so much and we will never fully be reassured of all of which we would like to know. Its infinite knowledge will never fully guide us to that of which we seek. Emerson’s use of paradox allows the audience to contradict the truth and that of what they already believe.
In Emerson's views, people should “not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”(citation). Based on Emerson’s thoughts, people should not follow the crowd, but instead live their lives and leave their mark on the Earth. Emerson thoughts come from a philosophical movement of the nineteenth century called transcendentalism. Transcendentalism focuses on religious renewal, literary innovation, and social transformation (encyclopedia.com). Because of their belief that God exists in everyone and nature, and that knowledge comes from individual intuition, led to the highlight of individualism, self-reliance, and breaking free from traditions(citation).
In the passage, he says that every person has the potential for accomplishing amazing things without the negative effect of society; this is accomplished through the power of self-belief. Emerson also talked about how people should not follow the rules (not in a rebellious display) in order to express individualism. Regarding these beliefs, I side with Emerson because I believe that people should be themselves and not allow society to tell them how to act. On the
The theme of the essay “Self Reliance” written by Emerson is for beings to not focus on those of others or subside his/her values to fit in with our society, for true geniuses comes from within and are made with their own heart and mind. His idea of self-reliance differs from that of the norm in that he doesn’t encourage those to mix into selfish ways but to be open and proud of their own individuality for that is the true key to life itself. Emerson’s idea is similar to the common use in that he encourages those to not depend on others to define his/her identity. 2. Emerson’s use of figurative language encourages his readers to view his ideas in a clearer and more emphasized perspective.