Comparing Conformity In Self Reliance And Thoreau's

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Throughout both Ralph Emerson’s, “Self-Reliance” and Henry Thoreau’s, “Civil Disobedience” the desire to enjoin the reader to take action against society is very significant in each excerpt. In both pieces one is able to understand the prominent theme of individualism, as it is encourage by the writers for others to not fall under the idea of conformity. In “Self-Reliance,” Emerson expresses the idea of how significant it is for people to not conform since it will only hinder one’s growth instead of progressing even further as a unique individual. Likewise in Thoreau’s excerpt, “Civil Disobedience,” he also explains how people will never grow as people, however, he focuses mostly as to how people need to rebel against societal influences such…show more content…
After reading both excerpts, the audience is able to identify the use of repetition as Emerson and Thoreau emphasize how urgent it is for people to free themselves from conforming. In Emerson’s piece, the word “misunderstood” is repeated a lot as a way to create effect to his stance on how people are seen in society when they challenge popular common beliefs. He states, “ shall be sure to be misunderstood! Misunderstood! Is it so bad then to be misunderstood?...To be great is to be misunderstood,” indicating that people who stand by their individuality will be seen differently from everybody else, however, even if they are Emerson makes the point that people who go against societal beliefs are able to inspire others to do likewise. In Thoreau’s piece, he also uses repetition of the word, “government,” for instance, he states “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect.” By repeating the word, government, Thoreau is able to embed his ideas to the readers, similar to the way Emerson does as
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