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Emerson’s Self Reliance Overview

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Essay title: Emerson’s Self Reliance Overview

Thesis: Don’t conform to society; be an individual.

I. The person who chooses to listen to the majority lacks the creative boldness necessary for individualism

a. Leads to acceptance of the same ideas

II. “Trust thyself”

a. don’t rely on others’ opinions

b. self esteem is original and mature

c. bring order out of chaos

III. Children are good models

a. Too young to be cynical, hesitant, or hypocritical-in contrast to adults

b. Loyalties cannot be broken

IV. Individualists need to resist society

a. Following the inner voice can be evil

b. Yet better to be true to evil inner voice than to conform to society

c. Wastes a person’s life to conform

V. Act independently no matter what

a. Don’t listen to what society says, be an individual

b. Difference between enjoying solitude and being a hermit

c. Do what is necessary regardless of criticisms

d. Individual nature allows thinker to battle society

VI. Enemies of independent thinkers

a. Society’s scorn

b. Consistency

i. Restrains independence and growth

VII. How to achieve self-reliance

a. Don’t be belittled by magnificence-humans determine an objects worth

b. Don’t compare yourself to great people (kings)

c. Intuition-transcendentalism

i. Thoughtless people are too worried about being consistent

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