Transcendentalism In Emerson's Self-Reliance

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This excerpt highlights the second influence on the mind, learning from the past, and more importantly the influence of books. He says that books contain ideals and memories of the past, and these books change the basis of truth. The truth is biased and tainted by society, and this represents one of the basic tenets of Transcendentalism, that man and nature are inherently good while society corrupts the purity of an individual. The purity being individualized truths. Emerson’s respect for individual thought and truth is inspiring. It is nearly impossible for society to move forward and develop our individualized truths if we rely on the brilliance of those before us. Emerson criticizes Americans for being followers rather than leaders throughout…show more content…
The reader can assume that Anastas is becoming increasingly concerned by the occurrence of these attitudes in modern American society and the pride of place given to “Self-Reliance” in American literature. One of the most important things in this text is the book Anastas used in high school, he vividly illustrates the book, and this description lays the groundwork for the purpose of criticism on “Self-Reliance.” The passage sticks in the mind of the reader because it describes the book so well and gives it pride of place in the essay. It is also where Anastas found “Self-Reliance”, the piece that his essay is centered around. In Walden, Thoreau uses first person, which I feel, is extremely effective in describing his personal experiences over the years. Thoreau has an advantage using this narrative technique, as readers, we are able to understand what Thoreau is feeling, seeing, touching, tasting, and hearing directly. Everything is communicated, and there is nothing he doesn’t attempt to communicate. Thoreau’s description and imagery used to describe the environment he was in while building his house, appeals to nature. He discusses the “spring sun”, “hazy atmosphere,” and “slight flurries” all contribute to his experience in the transition between winter and spring. Without the imagery and description provided by first person point of view, Walden wouldn’t be as nearly as impactful on the
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