Emerson's Self-Outliers: A Comparison Of The Outlier And Ralph Gladwell

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The dictionary defines the term outlier as “a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system”. In both Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”, a person being an outlier is something that is a fairly common thing. The term outlier is consequently the theme of Gladwell’s “Outliers”, whereas in Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”, being an outlier means not conforming to society's norms. Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Gladwell’s “Outliers” tend to contrast quite heavily in as in Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”, self-reliance is key to achieving peace, whereas Gladwell seems to believe that you need to be successful to achieve peace and happiness, and success doesn’t happen on your own. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”…show more content…
Emerson believed that one can’t be themselves if they did conform, as conforming was almost like copying another person’s image in Emerson’s eyes. In this essay, he states that it’s important to believe in your own ideas in order to be a genius. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,- that is genius” (Emerson, 19) Nonconformity continues to be a very common theme, as Emerson relates nonconformity to infants. “Infancy conforms to nobody: all conform to it, so that the babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play to it” (Emerson,
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