emerson - Trip Bennewitz Literary Consciousness Prof....

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Trip Bennewitz Literary Consciousness Prof. Parker 3/20/07 Ralph Waldo Emerson and Fyodor Dostoyevsky are two prominent writers from the 18 th century. In Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance”, he preaches American Transcendentalist ideas of individualism, independence, and, obviously, self-reliance. Through Notes from Underground , Dostoyevsky shares his views and hatred towards society and man’s shortcomings, as well as many ideas similar to those of Emerson. Both writers share similar views about how people should react to their own thoughts and explain our self-inflicted deficiencies. However, these men would not agree completely. Emerson’s views are consistent throughout his essay while Dostoyevsky can be contradictory. Emerson feels success comes through traits such as intelligence, individuality, and integrity of the mind while Dostoyevsky still values these things, also feels they can become some of our faults . These writers share many of the same views and opinions on society and how one should live, but differ from each other in some ways as well. One important point both Emerson and Dostoyevsky shared was that our “most treasured possession: our individuality” (Dostoyevsky, 106) is extremely important in the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
shaping of who we are. Emerson stressed the importance of individuality. Without our individuality a man or woman can’t improve his/her self and is nothing more than a conformist. One of the quotes from this essay that stuck out most was: “The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. 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. Your conformity explains nothing.” (25) The life, or “voyage”, of his idea of a good successful man, “the best ship”, is not a life of going along with the crowd in a straight line but it’s made up of self-made decisions.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Parker during the Spring '07 term at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Page1 / 6

emerson - Trip Bennewitz Literary Consciousness Prof....

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online