How Does Ralph Waldo Emerson Use Rhetorical Devices

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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. The analogies speak about how important self-reliance is rare in such a world where everybody is trying desperately to fit in. Ralph …show more content…

Being a part of a society isn’t especially bad, but it may be harmful when society creates a safety net for its people. A safety net could be used as an excuse for an individual to slack off, thinking that they will not affect the remaining members of society. However, this is false, as “one blood rolls uninterruptedly an endless circulation through all men”, and just one person or event could throw everything off balance. Society isn’t made up of just one person, it is instead compromised from many great people who have come together to put their genius to use. Emerson further proves his point in saying “society is a wave. The wave move onward, but the water of which it is composed does not”. Society as a whole may be advancing, but the people who make up society are not. This is what Emerson has been arguing about his whole essay; do not lean on the support of society’s greatness, instead, find your own and be a helpful part of a …show more content…

This essay, Self-Reliance, is very insightful for its time, and many of the themes written are still relevant today. These allusions used here were put together to further explain his main point on trusting one’s genius. This ignites people to become brave, and trust themselves more, rather than being afraid of their own thoughts and mind. After reading, people may even embrace their thoughts and run with their genius. Emerson again backs up his original statement, but instead uses analogy to express how society rejects individuality, but you must be brave enough to be your own part of this group. He does not fully bash society; he simply states that you still must be able to think for yourself whilst you are a part of it. Metaphors are also vital part of this essay. The metaphor about blood explains how everybody is connected, and one person could easily affect all who are involved. Society is a formed group of people who have evolved enough to be a part of something bigger than them, all while being just as great on their own. This is the main idea of Ralph Waldo Emerson – be an individual, count on your own mind, thoughts and genius, and still be able to contribute to the bigger grand scheme of

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