He influenced generations of Americans, from his friend Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, and in Europe, Friedrich Nietzsche, who takes up such Emersonian themes as power, fate, the uses of poetry and history, and the critique of Christianity. Nature is the first in time since it is always there and the first in importance of the three. Great books are mere records of such inspiration, and their value derives only, Emerson holds, from their role in inspiring or recording such states of the soul. Action is the process whereby what is not fully formed passes into expressive consciousness. Its goal is the creation of a democratic nation.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self Reliance
Self-Reliance, And Ralph Waldo Emerson's Views Of | mantelzorg.info
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Self-Reliance, And Ralph Waldo Emerson's Views Of Transcendentalism
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Emerson opens his essay with three epigraphs that preview the theme of self-reliance in the essay. He then begins the essay by reflecting on how often an individual has some great insight, only to dismiss it because it came from their own imagination. According to Emerson, we should prize these flashes of individual insight even more than those of famous writers and philosophers; it is the mature thinker who eventually realizes that originality of thought, rather than imitation of what everyone else believes, is the way to greatness. Emerson then argues that the most important realization any individual can have is that they should trust themselves above all others. Babies, children, and even animals are intuitively aware of this fact, according to Emerson, and so are worthy of imitation.