Self-Reliance and Other Essays

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Digireads.com Publishing, 2013 - 80 pages
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Follow the thoughts of essayist, poet and American Transcendentalism founder Ralph Waldo Emerson as he discovered his own belief system in the anthology "Self-Reliance and Other Essays." In "Self-Reliance," Emerson explained that standing on one's own two feet against society was essential to forming a strong union with God. Once this essay was published, it received both wild praise and hurtful backlash from different factions of America. However, Emerson pushed through the negative criticism, stood against the crowd, and found himself stronger in his faith than he ever had before. Emerson found that self-reliance, no matter the situation, would always help the individual persevere and become stronger. Because Emerson wrote for the common man, many of his essays and poems are relatively simple and straight-forward; he wanted audiences to understand his thoughts and identify with his beliefs. He also wanted to wake them up from the conventional modern life that he believed had often placated them. Emerson's writings were meant to help the reader transcend to a more thoughtful mindset. His essays discuss themes of philosophy, poetry, history, politics, ethics, and literary criticism, all of which helped break people from what he believed were their mediocre lives. He saw that humanity could become stronger as a whole if people would take the steps to make themselves and their minds stronger. The texts in "Self-Reliance and Other Essays" will not only inspire readers, but they will inspire self-examination and evaluation as well.

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User Review  - Paperpuss - LibraryThing

Everyone should reread at least part of this regularly. Read full review

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User Review  - madepercy - LibraryThing

Goodreads' star system is annoying. Having 5 as "it was amazing" might as well read "it was totally awesome" or "literally the best" or some other idiotic way of dumbing down that which should not be ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance. He returned to the United States in 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance. Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

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