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Transcript of Self Reliance
One of the most influential writers and Thinkers of the 19th century United States
Ⅰ. Introduction of author
Ⅳ. Interpretation & Explanation
Ⅰ. Introduction of author
Ⅳ. Interpretation & Explanation
To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius.
They teach us to abide by his spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility the most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side.
The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny.
Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each share holder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.
Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.
3) Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Emerson is born on May 23, 1803 in Boston Massachusetts.
In the October of 1817 Emerson enters Harvard College.
Emerson publishes his first piece of writing, "Thoughts on the religion of the middle ages", an article in a religious magazine.
Emerson gives his first public lecture, a talk titled "The uses of Natural History", which launched a lecturing career that would last 50 years.
Emerson publishes "Nature", one of his most famous works.
Emerson delivers his 100th lecture.
Emerson dies on April 27, 1882.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of America’s greatest Authors. He was and still is inspiring authors around the world. His essays, lectures, and poems have enlightened thousands of American minds.
Emerson was very forward thinking. He was both in favor of women’s rights and opposed slavery. His views were very progressive for his time, and audiences would sometimes shout him down at his public appearances.
The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.
Your conformity explains nothing.
See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency.
Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions.
Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation;
but of the adopted talent of another,
you have only an extemporaneous, half possession.
That which each can do best,
none but his Maker can teach him.
No man yet knows what it is, nor can,
till that person has exhibited it.
Every great man is a unique.
Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart,
and thou shalt reproduce the forward
Books and Essays:
Essays: First Series (1841)
Essays: Second Series (1844)
Representative Men (1850)
The Conduct of Life (1860)
English Traits (1865)
Society and Solitude (1870)
Letters and Social Aims (1875)
"The Uses of Natural History" (1833)
"The American Scholar" (1837)
"Divinity School Address" (1838)
"Literary Ethics" (1838)
"The Present Age" (1840)
"New England" (1843)
"Emancipation in the British West Indies" (1844)
"The Concord Hymn" (1837)
"Give All to Love"
"Boston Hymn" (1863)
What do you think self reliance means?
“The staunch defense of individualism”
What is this country’s highest ideal and greatest blessing? It is freedom.
Ralph Waldo Emerson understands the ideal of individualism in its larger and higher dimensions.
The young nation agreed with him—and so did its posterity. In 1986, for example, a sociologist remarked that “the sanctity of the individual” was a “common American, quasi-creedal phrase.”
They had faith that people are at their best when truly "self-reliant" and independent.
It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.
A protest to the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard University and the doctrine of the Unitarian church.
"Trust thyself". This argument follows three major points: the self-contained genius, the disapproval of the world, and the value of self-worth.
Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will.
Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired.
Self Reliance 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 or her own instincts and ideas.
Throughout the essay he gives a defense for his famous catch-phrase
But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments to the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.
All things real are so by so much virtue as they contain. Commerce, husbandry, hunting, whaling, war, eloquence, personal weight, are somewhat, and engage my respect as examples of its presence and impure action. I see the same law working in nature for conservation and growth. Power is in nature the essential measure of right.
Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility. Besides, all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; then will they justify me, and do the same thing.
The populace think that your rejection of popular standards is a rejection of all standard, and mere antinomianism; and the bold sensualist will use the name of philosophy to gild his crimes.
The moment he acts from himself, tossing the laws, the books, idolatries, and customs out of the window, we pity him no more, but thank and revere him,-
In your metaphysics you have denied personality to the Deity: yet when the devout motions of the soul come, yield to them heart and life, though they should clothe God with shape and color. Leave your theory, as Joseph his coat in the hand of harlot and flee. A foolish consistency id the hobgoblin of little minds.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard wards again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.
But perception is not whimsical, but fatal. If I see a trait, my children will see it after me, and in course of time, all mankind, - although it may chance that no one has seen it before me. For my perception of it is as much a fact as the sun.
Every true man is a cause, a country, and an age; requires infinite spaces and numbers and time fully to accomplish his design.
A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men-that is genius.
He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time. We shall not always set so great a price on a few texts, on a few lives. I must be myself. all persons have their moments of reason, when they look out into the region of absolute truth; that the moment he acts from himself, tossing the laws, the books, idolatries, and customs out of the window.
It's easy to see that a greater self-reliance must work a revolution in all the offices and relations of men; Prayer is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. "His hidden meaning lies in our endeavours; Our valors are our best gods."
Every great man is a unique. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Thank you :)
A speech (On August 31, 1837)
The most famous paper in the American literature history
To the “Phi Beta Kappa Society”
Explaining a true American scholar's relationship to nature.
Emerson's view on the "Duties" of the American Scholar
who has become the "Man Thinking."
the clearest of Transcendentalist ideas.
In it he stated that man should not see nature merely as something to be used; that man's relationship with nature transcends the idea of usefulness.
He had a deep appreciation for nature and true beauty,
Believed nature had direct links to "God"
"The self-same power that brought me there, brought you."
The American Scholar
A prodigy as a child, Emerson began his time at Harvard at just fourteen years old, making him the youngest in his class.