Self-reliance - Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1841 - Research Article from Literary Themes: The American Dream

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 27 pages of information about Self-reliance.
This section contains 7,923 words
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Self-reliance - Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1841

Introduction

In "Self-Reliance" (1841), Ralph Waldo Emerson, the premier American poet, philosopher, and lecturer of the nineteenth century, sums up the most basic and pervasive idea of the American dream and gives expression to many prominent and long-lasting American ideals. From individualism to entrepreneurialism, Emerson's writings emphasize the responsibility of each citizen to the self rather than to an outside authority. Living at a time when America is undergoing vast social and economic changes, Emerson provides an image of the young nation as enterprising, imaginative, and full of opportunity. A person's destiny lies in his or her own hands, according to this giant of American literature, and therefore Emerson helps establish much of the rhetoric surrounding the American dream.

"Self-Reliance" remains one of Emerson's most popular essays. In it, he describes the many distractions of society and culture that...

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This section contains 7,923 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Self-reliance - Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1841 Encyclopedia Article
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Literary Themes: The American Dream
Self-reliance - Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1841 from Literary Themes: The American Dream. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.