Ralph Waldo Emerson Individualism Essay

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In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance,” he emphasizes the importance of individualism. He begins his piece by warning man of the danger in envy and imitation. He states, “envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” He means to say that by imitating others, one is killing the part of themselves that makes them an individual and unique in the world. Emerson continues on about how one should “trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.” He is metaphorical in that every heart is an instrument that only its owner can hear and follow. “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you,” and follow your heart. He persuades man to be bold “obeying the Almighty effort,” and to trust their heart “advancing on Chaos and the Dark,” meaning in hardships or life’s pressures. Emerson then goes on to accuse society of taking away what makes every person an individual when he states, “society everywhere is in…show more content…
He gives outstanding advice to everyone and does not discriminate on who he gives it to. I believe every single person should be reminded of their individuality and remember what it is to be unique. Being like everyone else is boring, and it gets old. It was mind-boggling when Emerson had said it was suicide to imitate. Something so obvious and true is so often overlooked by everyone that when you are reminded of it, it makes you stop. I could not agree more with what he said, and applaud him for saying it. I can not count how many times I have caught myself starting to act like someone else so that I would be accepted, or that I would fit in and have made friends, but then want to kick myself later for even trying to be someone other than me or act in a away that I would not normally act. It touches home for me, and I can be sure Emerson’s words will always be a voice in my head and will remind me to always be myself, even when it may be hard to do
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