It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. He stresses that anyone is capable of achieving happiness, simply if they change their mindset. Emerson focuses on seemingly insignificant details explaining how life is "learning and forgetting and learning again". The first hint of the philosophy that would become "Self-Reliance" was presented by Ralph Waldo Emerson as part of a sermon in September a month after his first marriage.
An Analysis Of Ralph Waldo Emerson`s `Self-Reliance`
Self-Reliance - Wikipedia
A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. Transcendentalism was a literary and philosophical movement of the early- and midth century in the United States. Transcendentalist works stress the purity and goodness of individualism and community with nature, especially over the corruption and conformity of human society and institutions. This essay, published in , is an exploration of self-reliance , or self-sufficiency, as a virtue. Emerson emphasizes the value of individual instincts, thought, and action, and determines these attributes to be universally positive.
Full text online, multiple formats. Each to each a looking-glass, Reflects his figure that doth pass. Every wayfarer he meets What himself declared repeats, What himself confessed records, Sentences him in his words; The form is his own corporal form, And his thought the penal worm.
Emerson's early years were filled with books and a daily routine of studious and frugal homelife. After his father's death in , his eccentric but brilliant aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, became his confidante and stimulated his independent thinking. At Harvard —21 he began recording his thoughts in the famous Journal. Poor health hindered his studies at the Harvard divinity school in , and in , after being licensed to preach, he was forced to go south because of incipient tuberculosis.