Self Reliance Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Exercising your own ideals can be perceived as being rebellious in every society at time. People are expected to act, think, and behave in a way that safeguards everyone’s contentment. Ralph Waldo Emerson has a different view on this matter, in his essay Self-Reliance, he urges every individual to believe in their divine ideal and not to conform to society and its projections.
In Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance”, he urges for every human being to rely on their own intelligence and the genius within to make decision for themselves and to be their true selves. He discourages conforming and adhering to “dead institutions” (551) such as religion, academic colleges, and social organization. Emerson makes the following bold statements in his essay:
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Yet, one cannot be ignorant of the fundamental teachings and ways of life. It is important for one (a child) to be taught all things that are true and important as she or he grows from childhood to adulthood. Once an adult, it is one’s own responsibility to make good decision for oneself. As Emerson also state it in the second paragraph of his essay, “[t]here is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that…imitation is suicide…” (550). It is important for one to unlearn somethings that one has learned in the process of growing up and being schooled. As a grownup and an adult for that matter, one cannot be like others one has learned from. One should not make efforts to live like ones’ parents, teachers or elders in our society. One must strive to be one’s own true self.
Emerson is convincing that nonconformity is genius. His essay self-reliance demonstrates his reasoning on the subject. He aspires for everyone to accept themselves for who they, how they and how they think; without giving in to the conformist of their society. Being a nonconformist may be seen as a treat to others and the social order in every society. Yet, knowing ones true self and acting upon the divine good in one’s self is rather a blessing to
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