Self-Reliance by Emerson Discussion Questions

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Are your students familiar with the famous 'Self-Reliance' essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson? The essay deals with his transcendentalist beliefs, and these discussion questions will aid you in your classroom teachings.

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The essay Self-Reliance touches on Emerson's transcendentalist themes such as trusting oneself, not imitating others, individualism, free will versus destiny, and nonconformity. The writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson have been compared to those of Socrates, and have both been lauded as well as condemned by many. Throughout history, persons deemed 'free thinkers' have been considered to be both geniuses and madmen. It is even believed by some literary scholars that Captain Ahab was the failed personification of Emerson's theories. These questions deal with the importance of self-reliance, self-reliance and the individual, and self-reliance as it relates to society.

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