Emerson Essay No.2 3-2-06 - Brandon Delp English 101 March...

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Brandon Delp March 21, 2006 English 101 Mr. Buchholz Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 25, 1803. Emerson became a Unitarian minister after receiving his license to preach in October of 1826. Emerson later resigned from his position due to his altered opinion of the church. Emerson went on to write numerous essays and poems, becoming a major poet in American history. Emerson’s individualism in “Self-Reliance” provides a further understanding of his attitudes about slavery and abolition in the “Ode, Inscribed to W.H. Channing”. The basic idea Emerson is trying to convey, in both of his works, is the idea of thinking independently, not allowing society and others to influence one’s thoughts and opinions. First, Emerson expresses his individualistic opinion by saying “I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right.” (Emerson 96). Emerson is saying how terrible it is that we, as a society, rely so heavily on reputations. Emerson is questioning the validity of a reputation, and therefore he does not believe in making judgments based solely on a reputation. Emerson feels that society can be very corrupt; therefore he does not believe anything until he proves it true to himself. For example, the Northern states had the reputation of being against slavery; however this reputation was hypocritical, because they continued to support slavery by purchasing products produced by slave labor that they used everyday. For example,
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Buchholtz during the Spring '08 term at Community College of Philadelphia.

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Emerson Essay No.2 3-2-06 - Brandon Delp English 101 March...

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