How Did Ralph Waldo Emerson Influence Society

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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Influence on the Second Great Awakening
After the Second Great Awakening, the idea of change became popular and the idea of independence seeded itself into society. Reforms were developing, which supported ideas or unpopular opinions such as abolition of slavery, women’s rights, or equality. Literature also became a popular approach as a way to assert change into society. Many writers were challenging the idea of literature and instead using it as a way to spread their message even if it was not widely accepted by the public. An important and famous piece of literature is “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson in which he evokes the importance of conforming to unpopular opinions. Ralph Waldo Emerson became an influential
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As a adolescent, he went to Harvard however instead of surpassing expectations such as his brother who had previously attended, he did not stand out. This could clue into much of his writing where he tells the readers to believe in themselves and to not listen to other people’s opinions. He knew that everyone expected him to be like his siblings but instead did as he chose and followed his own path. Throughout his life, he took many steps to what would eventually shape him into a famous transcendentalist writer. Emerson along with many other well known writers formed The Transcendentalist Club, “a group that met irregularly at Emerson's home and else-where to discuss topics of general interest, primarily in philosophy, literature, and moral theology.” (Leer) He advocated for every man to have independance with themselves, their mind and criticizes society as a “conspiracy against the manhood of every one of it’s members”(pg.551). Society sees one thinking for themselves and getting away from the “norm” as unacceptable. In his essay “Self Reliance”, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, he speaks about two main topics. One topic is not conforming to popular opinions, and also criticizing how minorities and
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