Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Conduct of Life Summary & Analysis

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Conduct of Life Summary and Analysis

"Man was born to be rich," proclaims Emerson in this love letter to capitalism. He proceeds to identify the sources, types, maintenance and dissolution of material wealth. Its source is "applications of the mind to nature," whether it be farming or the performing arts. "Puff now, O steam!" he proclaims in an overabundance of enthusiasm. "He is born to be rich," Emerson repeats optimistically. The essential goodness of wealth derives from the fact that "poverty demoralizes," while the accumulation of wealth is a virtue because it secures a man his independence, according to Emerson. The truly clever man makes his wealth on a large scale by enlisting the support and enthusiasm of the masses and their leaders, as in the case of the railroads and all the other conveniences such as the telegraph that appear regularly from...

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This section contains 278 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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