Ralph Waldo Emerson Writing Styles in Self-Reliance

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The essay is, above all, a carefully constructed rational argument with the goal of persuading readers to adopt the ideas Emerson promotes. The author uses logic, reasons, facts, and examples to support his position. One example of his use of facts is his reference to two pairs of British explorers to support his argument that advances in technology do not necessarily lead to greater accomplishments. Emerson writes that Henry Hudson and Vitus Behring, who lived in the centuries preceding Emerson's time, achieved great success with equipment much less sophisticated than that used by Sir William Parry and Sir John Franklin, who were famous in Emerson's day. Emerson's contrast here is especially interesting because history bore him out.While Hudson and Behring's names appear prominently on today's maps to attest to their discoveries, Parry and Franklin are less well-known. In addition, Franklin died six years after the publication...

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This section contains 898 words
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Self-Reliance from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.