Emerson's Self Reliance: Peer Powerure And The Desire For Power

856 Words4 Pages
Life is filled with a mountain of complicated decisions that can shape people’s lives for either the better or the worse. Children are told the importance of standing out from their peers and to be themselves, yet children tend to assimilate to their peers’ ideas, customs, and behaviors. Some argue that assimilation is outgrown by those children as they approach adulthood, but sadly, that is not the case. The 1994 classic film “Quiz Show,” follows the journey of different players deciding to be unlawful and “follow the money,” or to stick by their core virtues. Peer pressure and the desire for power can sway any person’s judgement, but it is up to him to decide if he should keep up the lie, or ultimately tell the truth. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “Self Reliance” in 1841 on the foundation of American transcendentalist beliefs. Transcendentalists believed in the importance of knowing thyself, and to follow one’s destiny. In “Self Reliance,” Emerson states that “For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure,”(Emerson, 19) which is highly comparable to the NBC Network cutting Herbert Stempel for the sole reason that Stempel was not “pleasurable” to the viewers. Stempel tried to fight the pressure from his peers, but his fear overruled his judgement and he lied about what he thought the correct answer was. Not only did conformity cause Stempel the win or the loss, it also led to a dive in his fame and popularity as the smartest man alive. Toward the end of the
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