Self-Reliance Characters

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John Adams

Emerson refers to "great days and victories behind" that "shed a united light," which in turn "throws . . . America into Adams's eye." Emerson may be referring to John Adams (1735-1826), a revolutionary with a combative style who became the second president of the United States.

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the son of John Adams who became the sixth president of the United States. John Quincy Adams was a friend of Emerson's father and later an outspoken critic of Emerson's transcendentalism.

Samuel Adams

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) was a leader of the American Revolution who later served in Congress.

Gustavus Adolphus

Emerson asks, "Why all this deference to . . . Gustavus?" He may be referring to Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632), a king of Sweden who reclaimed territory held by Denmark, Russia, and Poland.

Alfred

Emerson asks, "Why all this deference to . . . Alfred?" He is referring to Alfred the...

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This section contains 1,772 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Self-Reliance Study Guide
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Self-Reliance from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.