Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Character Summary & Analysis

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Character Summary and Analysis

Character is "a reserved force which acts directly by presence and without means," like the wind which is perceived more by its effects than by any physical manifestation, according to Emerson. Character is a "stellar and undiminishable greatness" that is larger than circumstances or contingency—a goodness that not only endures but triumphs in the face of adversity or disadvantage. Emerson observes that nature is "bipolar," with both negative and positive poles. If magnetisim also is bipolar, the north would be action and the south resignation; character is thus aligned with the north. Emerson believes. Character evidences itself by a cheerful self-sufficiency, an immutable mass or presence in the soul that manifests itself as "the impossibility of being displaced or overset." Another trait of character in a person is "incessant growth" of the soul by which an individual increases his...

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This section contains 158 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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