Emerson Individualism Research Paper

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Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses the moral worth and value of the individual. Ralph Waldo Emerson, arguably the most important individual in the Transcendentalist movement, expressed the gravity of the “integrity of your own mind” which seemed to influence the writings of many authors. Emerson’s wrote in Self-Reliance a cohesive statement of individualism, which contained his most meticulous comment of the need for each individual to avoid conformity. Although many novels’ principal goal wasn’t to advocate individualism, we see copious amounts of characters with the underlying theme of individualism. In Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and…show more content…
Although Helen plays a more compliant and submissive character as opposed to Jane’s more impulsive qualities, we see certain aspects of Helen where she stays true to her own beliefs in God and his works. Helen is so adamant in her belief in God and his ultimate judgement that she definitely shows elements of individuality. Despite being very young, Helen shows great faith in God and never backs down for a minute. Mr. Brocklehurst, the hypocritical master of Lowood, uses religion to gain power and to control others while Helen gracefully trusts her own faith and turns the other cheek to Lowood’s harsh policies. Helen shows great maturity for her young age and says “I am very happy, Jane; and when you hear that I am dead you must be sure and not grieve: there is nothing to grieve about. We all must die one day, and the illness which is removing me is not painful; it is gentle and gradual: my mind is at rest. I leave no one to regret me much: I have only a father; and he is lately married, and will not miss me. By dying young I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at…show more content…
Biddy is a simple, kindhearted country girl and first befriends Pip when they attend school together. After Mrs. Joe, Pip’s sister, is attacked and becomes an invalid, Biddy moves into Pip’s home to care for her. For most of the novel, Biddy plays the foil character of Estella; she is plain, smart, and kind. Biddy, who seems the perfect spouse for Pip, ends up marrying Joe at the end which completely upsets the whole novel. Biddy displays bountiful amounts of affection and compassion for Pip but he simply takes it for granted. Although Pip doesn’t see her in the same way, Biddy stays headstrong and follows her intuition more than anything, which is shown in in this interaction between Pip and Biddy. “‘If I could only get myself to fall in love with you—you don't mind my speaking so openly to such an old acquaintance?’ ‘Oh dear, not at all!’ said Biddy. ‘Don't mind me.’ ‘If I could only get myself to do it, that would be the thing for me.’ ‘But you never will, you see,’ said Biddy.” (Bronte 389). Biddy seems to use love as a means of keeping her personality. She, not only allows Pip to confide in her, but she also accepts reality for what it is and doesn’t let love blind her. This is a key instrument in her preservation of individuality, as the characters surrounding Biddy are all blinded by the

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