Emerson's Self-Reliance Rhetorical Analysis

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Acceptable ‘Selfishness’ Ralph Waldo Emerson starts “Self-Reliance” with emphasis upon self-thought rather than submissively accepting someone else’s ideas. He promotes the idea that personal knowledge from experience is in a higher tier than knowledge gained from books. He says, “To believe that what is true in your private heart is true for all men — that is genius” (1004). People who rely on someone else’s opinions lack the creative power necessary for intrepid, unfaltering individualism. Emerson repeats “Trust thyself” throughout the selection. This motto ties the first section of the essay together. To rely on someone else’s opinion or judgment is cowardly, but someone who is self-reliant exhibits originality and is child-like – free from selfish needs – yet mature. Emerson also said it is important for an individual to resist the pressure to conform to societal norms, which conspire to defeat self-reliance in its people. “Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist . . . No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature . . . the only right is what is…show more content…
In his speech, “You gotta be hungry”, he says, “What will it take for me to get some of the things that I want? . . . number one, you’ve got to work on yourself. It’s very important that you engage in an ongoing process to develop you. Spend more time on yourself than what you’ve been spending” (Les Brown). To him, life without the desire to have integrity is pointless, without changing bad habits there will not be progression. Despite all the outside noise the reality is that people do not always have to be altruistic. Mental Health can come first. “It takes courage to act. Part of being hungry, when you’ve been defeated, it takes courage to start over again” (Les Brown). Brown believes life should be filled with passion, drive, and the courage to be true, bold, and
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