Ralph Emerson Allusions

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Ralph Emerson was a principal figure in the Transcendentalist movement of the 1840s, and he was also a well-known essayist and poet. His 1841 essay, Self-Reliance, emphasizes the importance of people finding their identity and being true to themselves. Throughout his essay, Emerson strains the importance of individuals avoiding conformity and following their own thoughts and judgments. He obtains his goal of conveying his message by using many allusions to make his point. Allusions help connect the ideas within a piece of writing to the bigger picture. Allusions also show the audience that he is indeed educated, contributing to his credibility for writing this essay. In Emerson’s essay, he uses allusions to show that even though the famous…show more content…
Through the use of logic, he emphasizes that even though the determination of our predecessors is a good model to follow, time is always changing and previous strategies for success may not work in the modern times. The world in which one lives in “undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is Christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given, something is taken”(16). Emerson is trying to stress the idea that the world does not have a set society, it evolves over time, so logically one cannot run a system or settle disputes the way our ancestors did. Because of this ever-changing society, the importance of not conforming to previous actions, and the need for new and unique ideas are increasingly prominent. He also mentions the idea of honor no longer being a modern ideal. Honor is described as a trait of someone with high esteem and respect. Unfortunately, over time the importance of honor has decreased. In modern times, “Honor is venerable to [the world’s population] because it is no ephemeris. It is always an ancient virtue. We worship it today because it is not of today (7). Emerson explains that as a whole, we need to stop holding onto the things of the past solely for the purpose of because it was from the past. We need to regain a purpose for our actions and make something out of them instead of just going through the motions. Over time society has been conformed into thinking that only one standard was good. Emerson uses logic to explain that we can not hold onto the past solely for the purpose of holding onto the past because one can miss many great new opportunities that
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