Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Honors Juniors: Emerson's Self-Reliance

1. How is Emerson's idea of Self-Reliance different from and similar to the common use of the term (take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself)?

2. In what ways is Emerson speaking religiously -- that is, about our relationship to the divine?

3. Which of the core persuasive techniques- ethos, pathos, logos- does Emerson use most effectively? Defend your selection with at least 2 direct excerpts (avoid the quotes below).

4. Choose two of the following quotes to analyze in relation to two of our texts from this year (The Color Purple, Death of a Salesman, The Grapes of Wrath). Be specific.

Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.
What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.
It is easy to see that a greater self-reliance must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men; in their religion; in their education; in their pursuits; their modes of living; their association; in their property; in their speculative views.
Insist on yourself; never imitate.
Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.
Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not.
And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.


Nicholas Cardone said...

Nicholas Cardone
Self-Reliance Questions
1) Emerson’s definition of self-reliance is quite different from the usual idea of self-reliance in that it does not entail selfish autonomy but instead a oneness with nature and other people, and a mutual respect for both. In essence, this makes Emerson’s version of self-reliance instead a goal to make all depend on one another as a perfect society, if not as all of humanity and nature to act as one organism.
2) Emerson speaks religiously in that he believes that God is manifest in nature, and, that in order to become closer to God, people must become closer to nature and accept what is natural within themselves and others. In that sense, people must become closer to their fellow man and the world around them.
3) Emerson uses pathos most effectively and uses it by using poetic language to skewer the religious and societal norms of his day, which strikes a chord of emotion in those who adhere to these norms, thereby igniting an emotional spark that forces one to think on the topic presented, and, thus, persuade the target audience into accepting Emerson’s beliefs.
4) Emerson’s works inspired the ideas of modern individuality that pervade modern literature. Among the examples of modern literature that seem closest to Emerson’s ideas are “The Color Purple” and “The Grapes of Wrath”. In both novels, the idea of society’s evolution and the evils of archaic systems are explored, just as they are explored by Emerson’s essay. “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” Emerson proposes in his essay, and lays down the theme of oppression that is explored in the novels of Walker and Steinbeck; whether when Celie is abused by her husband and stepfather, or when the government stomps upon the liberties of Oklahomans in California. When Emerson speaks of manhood, he speaks of individuality, and in such novels as TCP and TGOW, the society around the main characters is indeed conspiring against this individuality. Another quote, which indeed is relevant through history, would read like so: “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.” Emerson points out that human society will always be lacking in some qualities while being quite able in others. For example, while the Roman Empire was a civilization of immeasurable military power and sound infrastructure, it lacked integrity in its people, and thus soon fell to countries that had even slightly more volition than they. Indeed, this may also fit in the society that allows for the abuse of Celie, a black woman, and the worship of Shug Avery, a black woman as well, simply based on their perceived beauty and ability to sing. Or, perhaps, such an ideal would fit in the context of the Californians who adhere to liberty and justice, but round the Oklahomans into veritable concentration camps and frame them of their crimes. In conclusion, Ralph Waldo Emerson was an influential writer whose ideas permeate into nearly all modern literature.

Anonymous said...

Sarah ready
1.) Emerson’s idea of Self-Reliance differs from the common use of the term because he focuses on the idea that “it is a deliverance which does not deliver” (page 1) but furthermore declares that “self reliance is its aversion” (page 1-2). He supports the common use of the term because he suggests that you are better off alone than in a group; “but the man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude” (page3). Therefore, Emerson supports the common use of the term but puts his own spin on it by furthermore suggesting that it is unreachable and if you reach it you are considered “misunderstood” (page4).
2.) Emerson speaks about religion when he declares that “good and bad are but names very readily transferable” (page 3). Later on when he expresses that to be misunderstood it is neither good nor bad, he uses the examples of the misunderstood figures of “Jesus” (page4). He suggests that we are more alike to our religious figures if we just stop worrying what others expect to see and just be ourselves but he furthermore states that “no man can violate his nature,” suggesting that no man is better than these figures and no man can escape their divine future, which is pre-planned(page 3).
3.) I think that Emerson uses logos and pathos in order to convey his ideas. He utilizes pathos when he states, “the foolish face of praise, the forced smile…man is timid and apologetic…high be his heart, faithful his will, clear his sight” (pages 3-5). He furthermore utilizes logos when he states, “a man must consider what a blind-man’s buss is this game of conformity…the civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet” (pages 3 and9).
4.) Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
This quote from Emerson’s passage, Self-Reliance, is beautifully expressed in Death of a Salesman. In Death of a Salesman, a common man is faced with common stress and fights to reach the American dream but is constantly defeated by events that make his goal ultimately unreachable. This quote suggests that every heart vibrates to that iron string and in Death of a Salesman every man’s heart vibrates to reach the American dream. Therefore you should trust thyself because every other man is striving for the same thing.
Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not.
This quote from Emerson’s passage, Self-Reliance, is expressed in The Color Purple by the events that Celie faces. The society in Celie’s life pushes her up and down and yet she moves on. Celie is the face of society in this case and she is able to get out of the hardships that face society. However the people that she leaves behind do not change, as she moves on from the beatings and rapes, the ones that follow her will experience the same hardships. Maybe they will be lucky enough to make it out alive but in the end they fought for little to nothing because the men that committed these beatings and rapes will not change.

Anonymous said...

Michael Ready
Class E
Emerson Response

1. Emerson’s self reliance differs from the common use of the term because he specifies to the very core of what he believes is self reliance. In his essay he states “ Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.” (pg. 2) His idea of self reliance I would say contrasts from the common term of today because we would now think of self reliance just as being able to rely on yourself without needing someone else to help or guide you. This is how Emerson’s self reliance differs from the common use of the term used today.
2. Emerson speaks with interesting views on the topic of religion. “As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.” (Pg. 4). “Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.” (Pg. 4) Emerson seems here to have a sort of negative opinion on prayers. Making it seem as if they are not completely factual or trustworthy because they are “supernatural” (pg. 4)
3. From my point of view after reading this essay the core technique utilized mainly by Emerson is pathos. Pathos refers to emotion put into an essay. This entire essay is filled with emotion of his beliefs from topics ranging from religion to art and education. He provides his reader with all of the emotion that he has on every single one of these topics. One of his more bold opinions that I found during the essay was “As our Religion, our Education, our Art look abroad, so does our spirit of society. All men plume themselves on the improvement of society, and no man improves.” (pg. 6) This particular quote shows the utilization of pathos which are the emotion in writing because he does not support any of this with actual facts. He is essentially just providing the reader with his opinions that he creates from his emotion on the topics he writes about.
4. “Insist on yourself, never imitate.” This particular quote can be compared to the book “Death of a Salesman” because in the play the main character Willy should have followed Emerson’s advice. In the play Willy constantly tries to imitate his older brother who fell into a great fortune. Willy in the play never insists on himself and asks himself what HE wants. He always has flashbacks were he sees his older brother and asks him what he should be doing. He always asks his brother how to be a better man and a father, and never just asks himself what he could be doing to be a better person, but relies on his older brother for guidance because his brother was successful and rich, and everything Willy was not.

Anonymous said...

Katelyn Keough
Self Reliance Questions
1) Emerson’s idea of Self-Reliance differs from the common use of the phrase “take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself” because it relates to the hippie stereotype. Emerson would be “that guy” that lives in the woods isolated, rather than in a suburb or city. He doesn’t believe in relying on others for anything. Also believes that the only one who can help you is yourself.

2) Emerson speaks “religiously” through his method of writing; it is similar to the way of the Bible’s. Terms Emerson uses such as “Trust thyself” and “…envy is ignorance” relate to the way the Bible was written.

3.) Emersons use of pathos is very consistant and uses both religion and poety to convey his idea of "Self Reliance".

4.) “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other” This quote relates to the book “The Color Purple” because throughout the book there is racism due to the time period. The racism in “The Color Purple” is an example of how society never advances and that it falls just as fast on one side as it gains on the other.

“It is easy to see that a greater self-reliance must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men; in their religion; in their education; in their pursuits; their modes of living; their association; in their property; in their speculative views.
Insist on yourself; never imitate” This quote relates to the main character in the book “Death of a Salesman”. The character is very concerned with how everyone sees him, and is completely reliant on others. The character wanted to be like others, which differs from how in this quote Emerson believes you should only insist on yourself, and never imitate.

Anonymous said...

Emerson's idea in, “Self Reliance”, is similar as well as different to the common term used today. Many people think self reliance means taking care of yourself and not depending on the people outside of our life. Emerson does relate that idea in his book, but he also he says that self reliance focuses on the well being of yourself and even the religious parts. He believes that other people should follow you and you should be looked at as a leader because many times, “ It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion”, which is stated by Emerson to convey the idea people shouldn't fall into the trap of only taking the easy route, but the route that satisfies your own needs. Self reliance is still similar to the common term used today, but it has a lot more too it than just taking care of ones self and not depending on others.
Emerson introduced many idea about religion and people's spirituality in, “Self Reliance”. “All men have my blood, I have all men's..But your isolation must not be mechanical, but spiritual, that is, must be elevation” Emerson says that everyone has each others blood to demonstrate the idea we are all God's children. He also states that he believes isolation from others should be caused by the spirit. Lastly he states “ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion.”, which is said to explain we should not change our soul and spirit because of other's needs and just stick with who we truly are inside and out. Religion is a major part of “Self Reliance”.
In “Self Reliance”, Emerson uses pathos most in his story to show the readers his true emotions to excite them on the topic of transcendentalism. “You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us our safe at last. -But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility.”, Emerson is convincing his audience that is one lives this way they will be able to reach out to their most desires and not have to worry about the people around them because they can at least live in truth. This is an example of pathos because he is trying to interest the audience to the positive changes in life. “For he does not postpone his life, he lives already”, is stated to prove that Emerson doesn't need to follow the crowd and the way they begin their lives, and because of this he is capable of always feeling alive. He tries to convince his authors that living this way could allow them to as well feel alive and to not live the life that all others believe is right.
“What I must do is all the concerns me, not what the people think of me”, relates to the book, “ The Color Purple”. It relates to, “The Color Purple”, because the time Celie sticks up my Mr. she decides no longer will she live for other people's lives and let them control every aspect of her life. “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” is related to “Death of a Salesman”, because he constantly thought people were against him and causing him to have a bad life.
Taylor Silver

Anonymous said...

Raegen DaSilva
1) Emerson’s idea of self reliance is similar to the term “take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself” in that he believes in the disconnect to society and formality. He believes that people do not need to rely on others to be successful and that as a whole we should learn to be more independent. However it is different in that he believes that in order to become independent, we are unable to achieve this goal without others who are trying to accomplish the same thing. One cannot simply be independent if he is the only one being independent. The term, “take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself” relates directly to the idea of Emerson’s idea of self reliance.
2) Emerson speaks of a relationship to “the divine”. By this he means to one’s own spirituality. He believes that we should in a way “worship” ourselves and focuses on our inner being rather that a spirit outside your own body. By not focusing on a “God” we are able to focus on our own spirit and are able to enrich ourselves and lift ourselves up.
3) Emerson focuses most on ethos, or the confidence in the writer, to gain the trust of the reader. He states “I read the other day some verses written by an eminet painter which were original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may” this shows that he has effectively learned about what he is talking about and is able to recite it in a coherent way. Also, he states, “this should be plain enough. Yet see what strong intellects dare not yet hear God himself, unless he speak the phraseology of I know not what David, or Jeremiah, or Paul.” This shows his slight understanding of the Bible and allows the reader to believe that he understands it but is still able to disagree with it. It also shows how he was able to be a success by not following the word of God, allowing the reader to trust in his abilities and what he preaches.
4) In Death of a Salesman, Willy Loman would be able to relate to the phrase “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” Willy would never accept help from anybody and believed that the only way to gain success would be to rely on your own hard work and dedication. As an example, Charlie offered Willy a job but because he was too proud, Willy turned it down. Another quote would be “Insist on yourself; never imitate.” This relates to The Color Purple in that Celie would go against what society says. Celie made work by making pants which women generally did not own. She paved her own way and went against what society told her what not to do.

Anonymous said...

Brad Wry
1. Emerson's idea of Self-Reliance is different from and similar to the common use of the term in many ways. Ht talks about society and how it has a major impact on how people act and carry themselves. Society does not allow you to express yourself and when society changes the people living in it change with it. “It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character.” People today are not happy with themselves unless they do their absolute best. “A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said otherwise, shall give him no peace.” People constantly follow others and do what others think is right and not take a minute and think for themselves, but he is saying he knows it hard to different in a society like we have today but if you are you will not regret it. He also shows us how society changes people into things they are not and that when you are in nature you are yourself. When in nature you don’t worry about others or the past or anything, you are just relaxing and being yourself.

2. Emerson speaks about relationships with the divine a lot throughout this excerpt. “The relations of the soul to the divine spirit are so pure, that it is profane to seek to interpose helps. It must be that when God speaketh he should communicate, not one thing, but all things” God communicates with us on many different subjects and he wants us to know that no one is better than anyone; he has made us all in a unique and different way. Not a single person is better than another because we are all equal in other ways. “Time and space are but physiological colors which the eye makes, but the soul is light; where it is, is day; where it was, is night” How people look and act in society is much less important than the genuine personality and the soul of a person. “We are like children who repeat by rote the sentences of grandames and tutors” People should listen to God and make their own path rather than just following the footsteps of their family.

3. The core persuasive techniques ethos, pathos and logos are used many times throughout this excerpt. Logos was used many times while Emerson was reasoning with the readers about the relationship with God. “Let our simplicity judge them, and our own law demonstrate the poverty of nature and fortune beside our native riches.” He is explaining to the reader why people should always try to be good and do the right thing because the Lord is watching.

Connor Lynch said...

Connor Lynch
English E

1. Self-Reliance is a phrase which commonly implies that one relies on only themselves and does not succumb to the charity of others. In the essay “Self-Reliance,” Ralph Waldo Emerson conveys to the reader a very specific form in which he wishes individuals to be reliant on themselves. While he does, in fact, have the same general idea of the common use of the phrase, he also has different advice. Emerson believes that you should not try to be like others and that “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide.”
2. Emerson believes that men should trust in their own spirituality, whatever it may be, rather than what others may press on them. He thinks one should believe in whatever he or she thinks is right and listen to their own voice.
3. Emerson effectively uses ethos the most persuasively in “Self-Reliance” as he urges the readers his profound advice so as to assist them in their daily endeavors. He speaks only of his readers and hardly focuses on himself at all, clearly putting the readers’ best interests first. He tells the reader, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” He is urging them to trust in themselves through his philosophical advice, showing them how he is capable of learning all of this through himself as well.
4. “Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.” This quote from Self-Reliance is connected to The Grapes of Wrath in that the novel conveys the lives of the many farmers in the South who faced the Great Depression as opposed to the others who were better off.

Anonymous said...

Sara Silva
Class: E
Emerson use of self reliance has a significant similarity to what Emerson is utilizing. Self-Reliance is the title of his essay and portrays that the whole main idea of his excerpt it to basically tell the reader that you’re on your own, don’t rely on other people, they will have your back for a abridged moment but then will leave you hanging. Emerson conveys “I tell thee thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men do as do belong to me to whom I do not belong.” Meaning Emerson utilizes the symbolism of money to portray to the reader that if he would give a certain amount or money to the men he well knows but it insecure to whether or not he will be receiving that back.
Emerson essay as a whole can be symbolized as the bible. A bible that he believes that people should follow. A different, unique, abridged version of his own perfect world. Emerson conveys, “Here is the fountain of action and the thought. Here are lungs of that inspiration which giveth man wisdom and which he cannot be denied without impiety and atheism.” Furthermore he believes that every man he man encounter is a wholesome person with beliefs that Emerson respects. Religion has an impact by having Emerson respect each individual no matter what religion they might encounter. He would respect a christen like he would respect atheism.
Emerson utilizes a fair amount of each pathos, logos and ethos. In my opinion he utilized ethos. Emerson portrays, “Great men have always done so, and so confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their belong.” The amount of faith that Emerson has put into mankind is traumatic. He knows realizes that mankind may be slipping away. From the simple loving people men all use to be; to what he is realizing is taking place in modern day. Also comparing men to be small children, curious, interested and always wanting more out of their outcome. Secondly Emerson utilizes, “Go love thy infant; love thy woodchopper: be good-natured and modest: have that grace: and never varnish your hard, uncharitable ambition with this incredible tenderness for black folk a thousand miles.” This sounds incredibly similar to a bible verse taken out of the bible. It has a significant similarity to “love thy neighbor like thy love thy self”. This is a very famous quote that I believe Emerson utilized while writing this piece.
The Color Purple has a very strong protagonist that believes she is made of nothing but can overcome everything. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” The protagonist may have a multitude of similarities to this piece of Emerson’s writing. She believe that only herself can bring herself peace and that also she chooses not to rely heavily on other people because most of the time they will not be there when you need them. Death of a Salesman a American tragedy has also had encounters with a bad experience with society. “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” Both Emerson and the protagonist from Death of a Salesman have similarities that mankind is out to get them and is not to make them succeed in life.

Anonymous said...

Rachael Clark

1. Self-Reliance is when you focus on yourself. You do everything your ability. Emerson’s believes that “your own thought, to believe that what is true for your private heart is true for all men”. So what you believe in you heart can be true for all men but it is also true for you. Emerson talks about that you don’t need other people to tell you what to do or any assurance from other people. They are the same because Emerson says that you don’t need to focus on what other people are doing. You only need to focus on what you are doing. We can see out own rejected thoughts in every work. They don’t affect us but they teach us. This is the self-reliance that Emerson was talking about. You take care of your own needs and don’t worry what other people are saying. These are different because Emerson says, “The other terror that scares us from self-trust in out consistency”. We don’t want to disappoint people. If we focus on our own needs, people can’t see what we are doing and they will be sad at us. We bring the past with us. We will focus on that part of us and only think about that. Those are how these two things are different.

2. Emerson is speaking religiously because he talks about how we don’t think we are that great when God made us. Emerson states, “God will not have his work made manifest by cowards”. We get down on ourselves and God is not happy with us. We are “guided, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and Dark.” God is with us; through everything that we do, he is with us. Emerson talked about prayer and how that connects us with God. It is “pronouncing his works good.”He talks about how when are one with God we will not beg. This show the relationship between us and the divine.

3. Emerson uses pathos and logos most effectively. His pathos is when he is talking about how we get down on ourselves when God made us. Character and virtues help us become who we are. Even though we have fears and are afraid of certain things, we are still not perfect. The logos that he uses is when he talks about how society wants us to be something. We have to conform to the world. Society is “everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” You have to know your self-reliance when it comes to society.

4. The quote “And so the reliance on Property, including the reliance on government which is protected is, is the want of self-reliance” relates to The Grapes of Wrath. The family in the book wanted their own land and didn’t want anything to do with the government. The government was starting to take away their land. The other quote “What I must concerns me, not what people think” shows when Celie finally realized that she need to do something for herself and not for other people.

Ryan Brown said...

1.) Emerson’s ideals are similar to the ‘normal’ definition of Self-Reliance by advocating that people need to rely more on themselves for what they need. He believes that many people can support themselves, saying, “none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.” It is not so much the lack of ability, he is conveying, but rather the lack of effort. It is different, however, in that while being Self-Reliant, one should also be genuine and unique, doing their best to fight against conformity. “Your genuine action explains itself…Your conformity explains nothing.” He speaks of the great people who were anti-conformist and of their troubles during their lives and ends that argument with, “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

2.) Emerson relates all people to nature, and in turn nature to God, the “One” or the “Supreme Cause”. He speaks of how many things in nature practice Self-Reliance and how that means that humans should as well. “The bended tree recovering itself from the strong wind,” is an example of how nature helps itself, and so it is God who made it that way. He also speaks of the soul, saying that it “is not diverse from things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one with them.” His idea of religion is the idea of unity, and especially one’s connections with nature.

3.)While arguing for his ideals of transcendentalism, Emerson uses different examples of ethos, pathos and logos. His most effective technique, however, was his use of pathos and the human emotions to persuade the readers. “Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he does not say ‘I think’, ‘I am’, but quotes some saint or sage.” This line of argument has truth to it and is a very convincing revelation to the reader; however, it shows nothing about who Emerson himself is, nor does it rely on any actual facts. Instead it relies on the reader to reflect upon it their selves and discover that they too believe in what Emerson is saying. “Infancy conforms to nobody; all conforms to it, so that one babe commonly makes four or five out of the adults who prattle and play with it.” Here he uses the most basic form of life, a baby, and uses it as an excellent example of conformity in society. Again, he does not reference himself, or any study about adults’ behavior when confronted with a child; however, he uses the readers knowledge of people and how they act when around babies, and so proves his point about conformity.

Anonymous said...

Nathan Barrette
Self Reliance
Period E

Emerson’s idea of self reliance differs from the thought of self reliance today in that self reliance in his eyes is through god and from the heaven above whereas today people’s self reliance is thought to be of their own. Emerson thought that everything had to do with god and the devil. Today people believe that self reliance solely has to do with what you believe in and not what comes from above. Self reliance is “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men.” This quote is exemplifying that your self reliance has nothing to do with god or Jesus Christ but has more to do with your own thoughts. Emerson was a very religious man and thought that everything you did was God’s decisions.

All throughout Emerson’s self reliance essay he is speaking religiously. From the high heavens were God is to the pits of hell were the Devil is Emerson includes both of the immortal beings to depict his topic of self reliance. Emerson quote “They do not seem to be such; but if I am the Devil’s child, I will live then from the Devil.” This quote is saying that if Emerson was to grow up a particular way he wouldn’t try and fight it, yet he would go along with trying to improve it and make it better. Self reliance is saying that people must become closer with one another to improve themselves not only as ones nature but a whole colonies aspect on life.


The most valuable aspect is the use of logos In this essay. Logos is the persuasions of one’s words to overcome another person. In this essay, Emerson is trying to persuade the reader that self reliance is not based on your actual thoughts but is based out the outcome of God’s decisions. Emerson uses logos as a way of taking over the mind of a non believer. Emerson uses the strong words of the Devil and other intense meanings to try and get into your brain. The meaning of self reliance defined by Emerson comes not from the thoughts of a human being but one of a higher standard than us. Emerson does a very good job of explaining the version of self reliance he believes in.

Anonymous said...

Mike Travers

In “Self-Reliance” is much different from the typical idea about self reliance, his views are not shaped by anyone elses thoughts or ideas on the topic of self-reliance. The common thought of self- reliance is often perceived as take care of yourself , listen and rely on yourself and listen to no one else, but Emerson has a different take on the phrase. Emerson feels as if self-reliance is what we think of ourselves and how we think about life and the problems one has and the decisions they will make to overcome and resolve their issues. Emerson feels that believing your own thoughts is much more important than allowing your thoughts to be altered by the thoughts and comments that an outsider or an on looker may make. “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within...Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his” Men should not ignore their own thoughts, because our own thoughts should always be the most important as opposed to following anothers mind.

In “Self-Reliance” Emerson religiously in numerous different ways. For example Emerson implies that our thoughts and our minds are God's gift to us, our thoughts are the reason that we perform our actions. “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” Nothing is more sacred or God given than the freedom of our minds. One who neglects to use their mind to their full advantage is wasting an awesome gift awarded to us by God. Emerson also implies in the same paragraph that the one who has dark thoughts can possibly be driven from below as opposed to above, meaning the devil as opposed to God and the heavens. He also states that the man who is jealous is also ignorant, whoever envies another is ignoring their god given gifts.

Emerson uses 2 of the 3 elements in his writing of “Self-reliance” he uses pathos and logos, he uses very justifiable logic to convey his themes and ideas, but he most effectively appeals to the emotions of the readers. His use of pathos effected me specifically in a peculiar way. He states that “ to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men- that is genius.” this means the one who believes his own thoughts the one who can listen to their gut feeling is the genius, utilizing his god given gift to do what his body feels should be done. This use of pathos affected me in particular because I often find myself second guessing my gut. He also states that the man who is jealous is also ignorant and imitation is suicide mean pretending to be someone you are not is suicide because God will feel that he has wronged you in your own mind.

“Insist on yourself; never imitate” Relates directly to “Death of a Salesman” in numerous different ways for example Willy Loman was often jealous and often imitating others, but very rarely acted upon his own thoughts, for he had too many thoughts to act upon. Willy would wish for Biff to be famous and popular, and imitate other celebrities etc.
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think” This quote relates directly to “the Color Purple” because Celie decided to finally stick up for herself to Mr. Blank and to live independently for herself as a woman as opposed to surviving for him and his children.

Mike Travers

Anonymous said...

Joseph Maia
April 10, 2013
Class: E
1. The definition of the common term ‘self reliance’ is, in basic terms; personal independence. Emerson’s idea of self reliance is different in some aspects, yet similar in others. Emerson’s idea is similar in the fact that he believes that, to achieve self reliance, one must “Trust thyself” (1). The conventional term is personal independence and to reach that you must have trust within yourself. Though, as Emerson’s essay thickens, he starts talking about religion and how that ties into his own definition of self reliance. Emerson believes that if “a man claims to know and speak of God, and carries you backward to the phraseology of some old mouldered nation in another country, in another world, believe him not” (4). Talking to God acts as another person, meaning that you are relying on someone other than yourself, which contradicts with the base definition of self reliance.

2. Emerson, unlike most who talk about religion, talk about the figures above as people just like us. Emerson is fixed on the idea that they were once people just like us and they make mistakes as do we. Just as we are misunderstood, they are as well, which brings Emerson to a realization, “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstand? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh.” Emerson fixates on the idea that we are just like them, and they should hold no higher ground then us.

3. The persuasive technique that Emerson quite clearly uses throughout the essay is the use of pathos. Emerson, right from the beginning he tries to appeal as someone with superior intelligence to the person reading his essay. This automatically makes the reader feel as if he must believe in everything Emerson says because he is that much smarter than the reader. Emerson comes in strong with his opening statement, which he bolded stating, “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all me, - that is genius.” (1). This statement is one in which the reader carries with them throughout the essay and every single thing Emerson writes can all be connected to this one point. Another way that Emerson quite clearly uses the pathos persuasive writing technique is through the use of God in his essay. Using God in any essay is a bold choice because for most it is a touchy subject that really shouldn’t be publicized. Pathos is trying to connect with the reader on a emotional level, and bringing in God clearly shows that his objective is to connect to the select few who believe in what he is trying to communicate; in other words, not the majority.
4. “Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string” This quote connects to Willy from “Death of a Salesman” in the sense that Willy does in fact believe in himself even when others clearly don’t. For example, when he is in the process of getting fired he tries talking himself up to the boss saying that he can still be the best which shows he believes in himself.

“Insist on yourself; never imitate” This connects to Celie because even through all the beating and yellings that she received from Mr.___ she never turned into a grouchy lady. Nearing the end of the book it is still clear she is same old Celie who is very much in love with her sister Nettie.

Anonymous said...

Bob Anderson
Period: E
1. Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” is similar to the saying “take care of your own needs and don’t depend on others outside yourself” but varies in a few ways. It goes deeper into how you become self reliant, in such topics as trusting yourself, to envy someone is to be ignorant, and why being reliant on others outside yourself is a poor choice.
2. Emerson draws upon religious texts and stories to re-enforce his message of “Self-reliance”. He refers the birth of Christ, “Christ is born, and millions of minds so grow and cleave to his genius, that he is confounded with virtue and the possible of man.”, and how this grew society.
3. Throughout “Self-reliance” Emerson uses an immense amount of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. He uses Ethos in “What makes the majesty of the heroes of the senate and field, which so fills the imagination? The consciousness of a train of great days and victories behind. That is it which throws thunder into Chatham’s voice, and to dignity into Washington’s port, and America into Adam’s eye” to convey what gives “heroes” power and “majesty”. He uses Logos in his line “Ordinarily, everybody in society reminds us of somewhat else, or of some other person. Character, reality, reminds you of nothing else; it takes place of the whole creation” to convey that character has no weight on you, it happens during your creation by stating a fact he is able to state his ideas.
4. A) Emerson’s quote, “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” Connects quite well with the Grape of Wrath and the Joads moving west, they didn’t care what the options of the others thought they had to move to care for their own needs.
B) Emerson’s quote, “Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not” connects very well with Death of a Salesman because as business methods move forward Willy is left behind because he cannot adapt to the new society, he is stuck in the past. He grew up where you had to be “well-liked” to make a sale but the issue is that that has changed, like a wave.

Anonymous said...

Lauren MacGray
English E

1. Emerson’s idea of Self-Reliance is different from and similar to the common use of the term in many ways. First, it relates to the term itself because it deals with how one relies on only themselves and doesn’t wait for the approval of others. In his essay “Self- Reliance” he conveys his optimism that people be reliant on themselves and dependent. Also, he states that it is important to take care of your own needs and don’t depend on others outside of your own self. Aside from this, Emerson believes that you should not try to be like anyone else but yourself. For he says, “that envy is ignorance” and “that imitation is suicide.”

2. Emerson in some ways speaks very religiously, especially about our relationship to the divine. He does this by saying that you should never let anything affect the way that you think or see things and that you should always listen to the voice inside your head. He says it is most important to believe and go with whatever he or she thinks is right and to be your own person. This relates religiously because many people have different opinions, religiously or not, and they try to convince others to believe the same things they do. When in reality, you should believe whatever you want.

3. Though Emerson uses all three of the core persuasive techniques very effectively, I think that he highlighted logos in his essay “Self- Reliance” as being the most impactful. Logos conveys arguments that use pure logic. I think that he uses this most effectively because he tries to relate to the reader, especially by portraying such strong emotion towards his interests and writing. Doing this gets him to express his thoughts and gets the reader to connect to him more strongly. Also, logos portrays him as speaking more directly to the reader. Emerson has much evidence for all of his arguments. “To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, - that is genius.” Here, he is saying to speak your own convictions and in the end it will make the most sense, connecting to the reader very effectively. “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance;” By saying this, Emerson tries to connect with the reader and speak directly by making a connection that it is always better to be your own person and never follow anyone else.

4. The quote, “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” Relates to “The Color Purple” because Celie did whatever she wanted to do, not what she thought others would or wouldn’t approve of.

Andrew Morse said...

Andrew Morse
1. Emerson’s view of Self Reliance differs from other views as it is not so much just providing for oneself but providing your own mindset. Typically self reliance means that you are completely independent; you make your own way and feed yourself without help. Emerson doesn’t say that this isn’t important but stresses greatly that one must create your own thoughts and have an independent mind set. He wants you to be an individual. He says that “for nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure”, this basically means that despite what people will do or think of you, you must be an individual. Also he stresses not dwelling on what people have done before you, “These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are.”
2. Emerson speaks religiously consistently throughout the essay. He doesn’t say that man has to live up to god’s expectations like in the movements preceding transcendentalism. He speaks about a more direct relationship between man and god where “relations of the soul to the divine are so pure” he says god should communicate “not one thing but all things”. His religious ideas are more focused on knowledge rather than devotion of one’s life. Emerson believes “Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright”. He talks about how man used to be afraid to gain knowledge so he doesn’t question God. Now he thinks that knowledge is important and divine intervention should further knowledge.
3. Pathos is used the best and most frequently throughout the passage. The essay is mostly filled with his thoughts and his philosophy. That makes it hard for him to utilize logos because the “facts” are scarce in the piece. Emerson states “Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright” this is pathos because he makes the reader want to stand up once again and be an individual. Also when he says “These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are.” This is pathos because once again the reader wants to rebel and prove him wrong by doing great things on their own without thinking about the past.
4. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” This quote relates to the color purple because Celie and Nettie trust themselves and Celie holds he values of religion throughout all of her hardships. “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think” This quote is the exact opposite of Death of a Salesman, all Willy cares about is appearances, being well liked, and what people think.

Erin Kennedy said...

Self Reliance

1. Emerson’s idea of Self Reliance shares many similarities with the common used term [Take care of your own needs and don’t depend on others outside yourself]. He believes that men shall only “insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.” By doubting thyself and believing in others more than you believe in yourself, you will never be complete. In order to care for your own needs, you must never imitate or depend on others because “imitation is suicide” and “nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”
2. Emerson often speaks religiously throughout Self Reliance. He sees prayer as “the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.” Without prayer, there is no unity in “nature and consciousness,” and once man completes prayer and he is “at one with God, he will then see prayer in all action.” To Emerson, prayer is connection to peace nature and consciousness and with God.
3. Emerson uses the core persuasive technique of ethos most effectively. He often refers to society and the way it is a “conspiracy against manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.” Emerson commonly uses his own opinions to become very convincing. How he sees the world is how his readers will. He also expresses strong feelings of nature. He believes “power is in nature the essential measure of right. Nature suffers nothing to remain in her kingdoms which cannot help itself.” His expressed feelings of nature persuade his readers to also believe nature is unchanging and suffers nothing.

Kaleigh Schleicher said...

4)Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.
This quote relates to the book “The Color Purple” because Celie is a woman who always did what everyone told her to do. She never stood up for herself and always went with the flow. At the end of the novel she stands up for herself and realizes she is stronger than she thought. By trusting herself she is able to see that she is strong and her own person. She feels things just like everyone else.

Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This quote can be related to “death of a salesman” because in the play Willy is a man who wants to have the American dream. He wants a nice house, successful children, and a good job to provide for his family. But he doesn’t have all of the things he wants and he always worries about being “well liked”. He wants people to see him as a successful man with the life they wish they had. Willy is an example of the complete opposite of the person Emerson is talking about in this quote.

Anonymous said...

Nicole Kiley
1. Emerson’s idea of self-reliance is seen through the quote, “take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself.” He also believed in the idea of self-existence and self-trust. He thought that everyone should be independent and not depend on others outside of ourselves. Though he did not believe we should have very many needs in our life. Being self-reliant, Emerson thinks us people should be personally self-sufficient and rely on our own integrity, strength, and ability. Also, to have confidence in our solitude. He says, “The great man is he who is in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude”(3). He believes a real true man is one who is surrounded by many people but takes comfort in being independent and finds a way to feel secluded.

2. Emerson speaks religiously throughout his essay about our relationship with the divine. He writes, “Resist our temptations”(7). This line is in the Catholic prayer the Our Father. He means that though there are many temptations in our life, many can lead us down a ghastly path. We have to keep a close relationship with God and he will lead us down the superior path. Emerson writes in his essay, “Christ is born, and millions of minds so grow and cleave to his genius”(4). Emerson says that when we were born Christ was born in all of our minds. We all have a special relationship with him and want to take part in his brilliance. Emerson also uses allusions of religious figures such as; “God”, “Joseph”, “Jesus”, “David”, “Jeremiah”, and “Paul”. Emerson says we have a close relationship with the divine.

3. Emerson utilizes logos most effectively throughout his essay. Emerson says, “I mean “the foolish face of praise”, the forced smile which we put on in company where we do not feel at ease” (3). This is very persuading because we all do this at times when we feel least comfortable. He writes, “If you can love me for what I am, we shall be happier”(7). This is very relatable which makes it persuasive. We all want to be loved for what we are. When we find that, we are happier.

Tyler Fair said...

The Essay “Self-Reliance” acts as Emerson’s comprehensive rejection of culture and society, igniting the reader with his pathos he argues the idea that man can only be brilliant when not held by conformity and asserts that the inherent, pure beauty of nature is proof of it’s holiness explaining his belief that god is within nature.

1. Emerson's idea of self reliance is not the traditional term that being, not being dependant on others for resources or needs. Instead his idea of self reliance is relying only on oneself for input into a situation and creating ideas. That one should not be bound by the opinions and convictions of others.

2. When he talks of religion he criticizes it’s need of classification and denomination. He stresses that men should have a personal private relationship with god and stresses looking to nature to contemplate divinity as opposed to a church.

3. Emerson uses his Pathos the most effectively in “Self-Relience”. He writes with emotion and passion about his subject crafting stirling speeches in his words to prove his statements and speaking directly to the reader and telling stories.


“Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not. .”

In the novel “The Color Purple” this quote signifies the lack of difference between the situation in africa and the situation in America. In both places, despite the wide differences in cultures, there is oppression of Blacks and Women.

Anonymous said...

Nick Hynes

1) Self Reliance in modern terms is the ability to be independent of others and depend only on yourself. Similarly, Emerson believes that men have become too dependent on technology, “The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun.” (Emerson) While Emerson agrees with the aspect of independence, his main focus is that of relying on one’s own wits, “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.” (Emerson) So in this way Emerson’s idea of self reliance is different than the common use of the term.

2) Emerson regularly references religion and divine being in Self-Reliance as unique and individual to every one man’s “inner heart.” Emerson believes that set religion is false and untrue to every man’s heart and describes preachers as “lawyers set on retainer” to defend the views of their particular sect. Emerson urges every man to find God within their heart and to follow their true path above that of a church’s rules and beliefs.

3) Emerson uses logos most effectively; he states all his points in a clear, sensible way that the reader has a hard time disagreeing with. On falseness of identity Emerson uses an angry bigot as an example, he criticizes the falseness of the man’s wish for abolition and defends with “Rough and graceless would be such greeting, but truth is handsomer than affectation of love.” And is it not better to be true to yourself than to the public? Another example of Emerson’s logos is in his view of charity, Emerson argues that a man should not feel guilty of his successes, “do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor? I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and whom I do not belong.” Emerson says not these things in spite, but in his own charity; he believes that a man who is helped is crippled.

4) The quote from self reliance, “trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” Relates to TCP. Celie, through much of her life, did not trust herself, she just followed, but when she listened to her heart her life was good and full. The quote “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.” Relates to DOAS. Biff, Happy, and Willy all are seemingly manly, but their reliance on the material world undermines their self reliance and independent beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Krista Woodworth

1.) Emerson’s idea of self reliance is different from and similar to the common use of the term. For Emerson the self is a part of a person that is made up of his own unique individuality.Nature, and one's own mind is the two factors that determine the Self. The person who is self reliant will make their own decisions, rather than waiting for the approval of others. The person who is self reliant by Emerson's definition will be self-reliant by the modern definition.
2.) Emerson speaks religiously throughout his writing to compare things. He also does it to realte his meaning in a simpler way in whiuch people will understand

3.) I believe that Emerson utilizes pathos most effectively.Pathos appeals to the emotions of the listener, seeking to exite them or otherwise arouse their intersests . An example of pathos is when Emerson says,“he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance.” By saying this he tells us that if you were to be jealous of someone for any reason it would be foolish because you should not be concerned about what other people have and focus on being the best you could be. He also says, “imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion.”. By saying this he is restating the same idea that you should only be worried about yourself and not others around you.

4.) Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members

Emerson is trying to convey that Society likes conformity, and It is not comfortable with original thinking.

Insist on yourself; never imitate

Emerson is saying to people to be who they are, and not pretend to be someone that you are clearly not. To be yourself, you need to stand your ground and not be influenced by others.

Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.

This means that the more society comes forward, the more it decreases. In other words, there will never be any real advances because the negatives cancel out the positives. For every positive act there is a negative reaction therefore there is actually no reaction. Therefore, society will never advance.

Zack Sicard said...

Zack Sicard
1& 2) Emerson’s idea of self reliance and the definition of self reliance are one in the same. In Emerson’s words “take care of your own needs and don't depend on others outside yourself”. Having self reliance is having self confidence. Emerson feels that you need self reliance in your work, your actions and your principles. When discussing the problems of man he feels that man has trouble with expressing himself; if and when he does he will find happiness. New perceptions and outlooks change the actual meaning of god’s true words in each and every person’s eyes. When you are a god person you don’t have to know exactly what others perceive, you simply are good in your own way. In your soul you know what is right and wrong. If we accept what we have learned and follow the wishes of god through the words of “David, Jeremiah and Paul” we will have a whole new perspective on life and pass it on to others.
3) Emerson most effectively utilizes the power of pathos in his excerpt. Many “young men…lose all heart” when they are initially unsuccessful. The man that can “fall on his feet” like a cat, unfazed and unaffected and continue on like nothing has happened will find success. Many people give up on their dreams and spend the rest of their lives complaining, but the man that gets back up and keeps fighting is the one whose name will be remembered.

4) One quote from Emerson’s reading that relates to The Color Purple is “Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us.” Society and more directly Celie’s father chose who she was to marry. One quote that relates to Death of a Salesman is “ we are afraid of truth, fortune, death and of each other”. Willy Loman is afraid of his sons fortune in their futures.

Sarah Goldberg said...

1) Emerson’s idea of self-reliance has some similarities and differences between the common use of the term. It is similar because he thinks that man should live for himself and not for others. It is different because he says it in a sense that portrays society as bad. He thinks everyone should believe in self-reliance in relation to society and being a noncomformist because he believes that society cannot help anyone because “society is a wave” and even though “the wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed of does not” (10). This is different than the common use of the term because it is relating self-reliance to being a noncomformist because Emerson believes that conforming to society will never allow a man to move forward in his own life. Emerson’s use of the term self-reliance is a little similar than the common use of the word, but has some detail that makes it different.
2) Emerson speaks religiously a few times. The first time he brings up the idea about how people cannot dismiss their thoughts because “our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgement” (1). By saying this, Emerson meant that all of people’s thoughts define who they are and will determine what will happen to them after death. He also states “God has armed youth and puberty and manhood no less with its own piquancy and charm… if it will stand by itself” (1). This is implying that God has readied every man for self-reliance so that they can all be noncomformists. Emerson speaks religiously a lot throughout Self Reliance.
3) Emerson uses Ethos a lot throughout Self-Reliance. Ethos is used throughout the whole essay in the way that he speaks so confidently as if his essay is not full of his opinions, but rather facts. The way he states things like “envy is ignorance,” “imitation is suicide” and that everyone must “trust thyself” makes readers believe these as facts, especially with his lengthy explanations of all of these statements (1). Ethos is a dominant persuading device used by Emerson in Self-Reliance.
4) Emerson’s statement that “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members” relates very well to The Color Purple and The Grapes of Wrath. In relation to the latter, the Joads try to keep up with society, but fail every step of the way. Society takes their home and farm away, and when they follow the path that society is taking to the west, they end up unsuccessful there, too. In relation to The Color Purple, Celie tries to fit in with what society expects of her and she is abused all of her life until she becomes self reliant and sticks up for herself. These novels both go along with what Emerson is trying to say about society; it is wrong and is degrading to all of it’s members.