Ralph Waldo Emerson “On Self Reliance” – American Literature Essay (200 Level Course)

Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most influential American writers. He was a visionary who could predict and try to influence society on his beliefs. Emerson was one of the original transcendentalists whose main mission was to critique and change society using their

influence on its ways of thinking. In his book “On Self Reliance”, Emerson is an advocate of free speech and personal responsibility. He believes that a man should be left alone to think for himself. Emerson used young people as an example on how society at large is restricting them from expressing themselves.

His ideas of non-conformism are very understandable Emerson also attacks authority and popular culture since they have so much influence on the individual and they can shape his life. Emerson emphasizes on individualism and independence and suggests that everyman has a potential to become what they want if they stand on their own two feet.

Overall Emerson ideas make a lot of sense and they can be easily applied to today’s society, which is heavily dependent on Technology.