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Transcript of Self-Reliance
According to the opening statement, what does every person realize at some moment in his/her education?
In the opening statement we realize at the same moment that envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide, and we must take ourselves for better, for worse, as our portion.
In the second paragraph, what does Emerson say is every person's destiny?
Emerson doesn't say anything about every person's destiny. What he says is that "Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events"; by this Emerson means that we all should accept what happens in our lives in society.
Explain what Emerson believes about society as a whole. (Paragraph 3)
First Emerson calls society a conspiracy against manhood; society is a joint-stock company. He thinks that society as a whole is wrong; in his eyes people are continuously working to make everything better for others but people need to make things better for themselves and have self-reliance.
What is self-reliance an aversion to? (Paragraph 3)
According to the third paragraph and to Emerson, self-reliance is an aversion to society.
What is a person's most sacred possession?
According to the fourth paragraph and Emerson, a person's most sacred possession is the integrity on one's mind.
Do you think there is a difference between self-reliance and selfishness? Explain your answer.
Yes, I think there is a difference between self-reliance and selfishness. Self-reliance is when you rely on yourself for getting things done; but selfishness on the other hand is when you think only for yourself and not considering others. These two can get confused with each other but there is a foremost difference between them.
Highlighted in green, you will find some of the figures of speech Emerson uses to make comparisons between two unlike things. For example, he likens planting corn to man's daily struggle to live in the world. (Paragraph 1). What are his comparisons for the following: an iron string, an joint stock-company, and a corpse?
I believe when Emerson said "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string" he means we should trust our instincts cause the what we all do. I believe when Emerson "society is a joint-stock company" he means that we all work together. An when Emerson says "Why drag about this corpse of your memory, lest you contradict somewhat you have stated in this or that public place?" I believe that he means we should stop dragging around the past and stop bringing it up.
In a paragraph, write your idea of self-reliance. Do you agree or disagree with Emerson? Why?
Self-reliance to me is when you have the ability to rely on yourself. It is knowing that even if no one else does it, you are able to do it yourself. It is the ability to have responsibility of you. It is not, in the sense of owning up to one’s responsibility but being able to take responsibility to get something done. Knowing that you can/ or will do it because you are dependent upon yourself.
Describe Emerson's style of writing. Find one sentence that is an example of this style. In your description, focus on his tone and purpose - see the following hint for assistance. Hint: When you discuss a writer's style of writing, you look at his purpose for writing, word choice to convey a tone or attitude, the structure of sentences (for example, question or statement), and sentence and paragraph length, for starters.
Emerson's writing style is conceptual and philosophical. An example of his writing is when he says "that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till."
Find one sentence that holds meaning for you and explain why this sentence speaks to you. Paraphrase the sentence (rewrite in your own words.)
"Why drag about this corpse of your memory, lest you contradict somewhat you have stated in this or that public place?"
The sentence is said in paragraph 8; and it has meaning to me because I need to stop looking back at the past. There isn't anything there for me and I need to look ahead at my future.