Ralph Waldo Emerson's 'Self-Reliance'

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The American transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay “Self-Reliance” (1841), argues against society by defining it to be everywhere “in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members” (par. 6). Notwithstanding that his reasoning process may prove accurate - probably thanks to the myriad of literary strategies he manipulated- the author totally ignored some imperishable preconceptions that should have been discussed before exposing a so reckless thesis. Therefore, the essay resulted in a cauldron of sparkling yet radically wrong ideas. Preeminently, even if the transcendentalist exposes some accurate concepts upon how it may prevent man from be a “genius”, it can safely be said that society constitutes the basis for the survival of the individual and furthermore, a safe and prolific environment for the birth of the great man. For this reason, it is totally wrong to condemn society in the way Emerson did. Of course, it is understandable that Emerson is not encouraging to leave family and job and to go live into the woods surviving of hunting and instincts like a primitive, maybe; instead, throughout the essay Emerson is suggesting to the individual to abandon the religion, traditions and culture he has been grown in. He is telling to stop looking back at his past and to what other people (defined “Greats”) said. Although, by eradicating all this, what is left?
Bernard of Chartres once said: “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of
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