Self Reliance Analytical Essay Ideas

This article is about the essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson. For other uses, see Self-reliance.

"Self-Reliance" is an 1841 essay written by American transcendentalist philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. It contains the most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes: the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow their own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."[1] This essay is an analysis into the nature of the “aboriginal self on which a universal reliance may be grounded.”[2]


The first hint of the philosophy that would become "Self-Reliance" was presented by Ralph Waldo Emerson as part of a sermon in September 1830 a month after his first marriage.[3] His wife Ellen was sick with tuberculosis[4] and, as Emerson's biographer Robert D. Richardson wrote, "Immortality had never been stronger or more desperately needed!"[3]

From 1836 into 1837, Emerson presented a series of lectures on the philosophy of history at Boston's Masonic Temple. These lectures were never published separately, but many of his thoughts in these were later used in "Self-Reliance" and several other essays.[5] Later lectures by Emerson led to public censure of his radical views, the staunch defense of individualism in "Self-Reliance" being a possible reaction to that censure.[6]

"Self-Reliance" was first published in his 1841 collection, Essays: First Series.[7] Emerson helped start the beginning of the Transcendentalist movement in America. "Self-Reliance" is one of Emerson’s most famous essays. Emerson wrote on “individualism, personal responsibility, and nonconformity.”[8]

The Transcendentalist movement flourished in New England, and proposed a revolutionarily new philosophy of life. This new philosophy drew upon old ideas of Romanticism, Unitarianism, and German Idealism. Some of these ideas pertained closely to the values of America at the time. These values included nature, individualism, and reform, and can be noted in Emerson's essay.


  • Individual authority: Emerson mentions that citizens control the government so they have control. He also mentions how “nothing has authority over the self.” He says, “History cannot bring enlightenment; only individual searching can.” He believes that truth is inside a person and this is authority, not institutions like religion.[8]
  • Nonconformity: Emerson states, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." He counsels his readers to do what they think is right no matter what others think.[8]
  • Solitude and the community: Emerson wrote how the community is a distraction to self-growth, by friendly visits, and family needs. He advocates more time being spent reflecting on one’s self. This can also happen in the community by a strong self-confidence. This would help the counseled to not sway from his beliefs in groups of people.[8]
  • Spirituality: Truth is within one’s self. Emerson posits that reliance upon institutionalized religion hinders the ability to grow mentally as an individual.[8]


Herman Melville's Moby-Dick has been read as a critique of Emerson's philosophy of self-reliance, embodied particularly in the life and death of Ahab. Melville's critique of self-reliance as a way of life is seen to lie in its destructive potential, especially when taken to extremes. Richard Chase writes that for Melville, 'Death–spiritual, emotional, physical–is the price of self-reliance when it is pushed to the point of solipsism, where the world has no existence apart from the all-sufficient self.'[9]In that regard, Chase sees Melville's art as antithetical to that of Emerson's thought, in that Melville '[points] up the dangers of an exaggerated self-regard, rather than, as [...] Emerson loved to do, [suggested] the vital possibilities of the self.'[9]Newton Arvin further suggests that self-reliance was, for Melville, really the '[masquerade in kingly weeds of] a wild egoism, anarchic, irresponsible, and destructive.'[10]

In popular culture[edit]

Emerson's quote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds," is a running joke in the 1998 film Next Stop Wonderland. A single woman (portrayed by Hope Davis), who is familiar with the Emerson quote, goes on dates with several men, each of whom tries to impress her by referencing the line, but misquotes it and misattributes it to W.C. Fields, Karl Marx, or Cicero.[11] The woman finally meets a man (portrayed by Alan Gelfant) who correctly attributes the quote to Emerson.

Early in his career the writer Isaac Asimov co-authored the textbook Biochemistry and Human Metabolism. While reviewing the galley proofs of each author's contribution, he and his two colleagues would frequently encounter differences in matters such as the spelling, capitalization and hyphenation of technical words and terms. Rather than undergo the laborious task of harmonizing all these trivial variations, hearkening to the "foolish consistency" statement they would all call out "Emerson" when one of these was encountered and pass directly on to the next item.[12][13]

It is also quoted in the Python Style guide for the Python programming language.[14]




  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo Selected Essays (Harmondsworth: Penguin American Library, 1982) ISBN 0140390138. Edited with an introduction by Larzer Ziff. pp. 175-203.


  • Porte, Joel and Saundra Morris (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999) ISBN 052149611X. See especially pp. 13-30 and pp. 106-111.

External links[edit]

  1. ^Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), Inc., 1841.
  2. ^Baldwin, Neil (2005). The American Revelation. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 61–78. 
  3. ^ abRichardson, Robert D. Jr. Emerson: The Mind on Fire. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995: 99. ISBN 0-520-08808-5.
  4. ^McAleer, John. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Days of Encounter. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1984: 105. ISBN 0-316-55341-7.
  5. ^Richardson, Robert D. Jr. Emerson: The Mind on Fire. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995: 257. ISBN 0-520-08808-5
  6. ^Richardson, Robert D. Jr. Emerson: The Mind on Fire. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1995: 300. ISBN 0-520-08808-5.
  7. ^Myerson, Joel (2000). Transcendentalism: A Reader. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 318–339. 
  8. ^ abcdeHacht, Anne, ed. (2007). "Major Works" Literary Themes for Students: The American Dream. Detroit: Gale. pp. 453–466. Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ abChase, Richard, ed. (1962). "Melville and Moby-Dick". Melville: a Collection of Critical Essays. Spectrum. pp. 56–61. 
  10. ^Melville, Herman (1981). Arvin, Newton, ed. Moby-Dick. Bantam. pp. 549–558. ISBN 0-553-21311-3. 
  11. ^O'Sullivan, Michael (August 28, 1998). "'Next Stop Wonderland'". The Washington Post. 
  12. ^Asimov, Isaac. It's Been a Good Life. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2002: 118. ISBN 1-57392-968-9.
  13. ^Asimov, Isaac. Asimov's Mysteries. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1968: 54. ISBN 0-385-09063-3.
  14. ^"PEP 0008 -- Style Guide for Python Code: A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds". Retrieved December 2, 2015. 

I am doing an essay on why teen pregnancy is increasing. i have lack of birth control & peer pressure. i need more...

useful phrases for compare and contrast essay intrusion detection system research paper pdf harvard business school research papers sa2 annie dillard living like weasels essay valoracion por retroceso quimica analytical essay imagenes de seres superioressaywriters? essay writers online news how to make omelette essay eu budget 2016 research paper? oedipus complex freud essay roger schawinski dissertation? essay on expert witness.

The lady in red essay dissertations writing services number? dwarfism research paper marketing dissertations youtube good name for essay ludwig wittgenstein on certainty analysis essay attention grabber for antigone essay, essay and paragraph difference how to make an abstract for research paper keshav proposed plan for completion of dissertation ang pangarap ko sa akin buhay essay about myself causes and effects of industrial revolution essay what are note cards for a research paper restating thesis essay essay paper on love? heroes and icons of our time essay dissertationen uni stuttgart 2016 nissan gode emner til essay my father essay in punjabi language harvard university research papers journalism gandhiji the ceaseless crusader essay help music to write essays to quizlet? how to write results and discussion in research paper bu law school essays., obama inaugural address 2016 rhetorical analysis essays essay on diwali preparations for the next life essay of faithful friend 10 contemporary essayists to whet your mental whistle valoracion por retroceso quimica analytical essay martin scharrer dissertation meaning personal reflection research paper essay about teachers role as a facilitator the fabulous button sisters essay restating thesis essay conservation 18th and 19th century essay to kill a mocking bird essay on courage easy essay typewriter the globalization of markets summary analysis essay postulates baeyer strain theory essay planet earth poem michael jackson analysis essay leibniz preface new essays summary judgment essay on kannada rajyotsava in kannada language literature. live help 123 essay, what to write your college essay about usage avatar movie essay a separate peace critical lens essay quote biotechnology research paper pdf how to write a 7 page research paper how to prepare a dissertation defense presentation scholarship essays for nhs end justified the means essay help ah biology 2005 marking scheme for essay. Researched position paper year jonathan z smith comparison essay? easy essay on islamophobia glenroy college eid festival essay. essay compare and contrast education in egypt essays on the hunger games how to write a research paper on cervical cancer essaye moi film acteurs timeline full of people supporting city! Not helping my essay writing having this game on in the background reference cards for research paper american university the ses and dissertations essay on educational goals quora do i put my name on my college essay the essays of francis bacon epub to pdf chaos magazine essayuniversal health care essay reviews purpose of essay writing xml hommes femmes mode d emploi critique essay spider diagram for essay planning sheets useful expressions for essay writing take the lead essay admissions essay for texas a&m, montana 1948 power essay baseball essays yale 2017. the introduction to a research paper frequently contains which three parts promotion essay essay on seerat ul nabi romanticism and realism essay lvpecl lvds comparison essay where to find research papers online games every vote matters essay about myself. 7 dwarfs doc descriptive essay how to write a summary on a research paper datenbank dissertationen kunstgeschichte lmu internship reflection paper essay lyrics schizophrenia research paper thesis paper journeys end raleigh analysis essay #innovation #essayage virtuel @CocolicoFrance � contoh recount text 2 paragraph essay essay on right to recall and right to reject essay about united nations day clip strictly ola argumentative essays animal rights research paper website analysis essay in english globalization climate change essay how many hours to write a dissertation viewless wings of poesy analysis essay education starts at home essays advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones in student life essay? why gay marriage should be legal essay day, society without laws essay mothers day essay sociology dissertation boston college short essay myself stephen king essay on writing names? how to introduce into an essay sujet de dissertation sur le terrorisme international dissertationen uni stuttgart 2016 nissan best essay 4 u? reference cards for research paper phrases to use in reflective writing essays is sociology a science essay planning? bbc essay writing quiz us history regents great depression essays essay about comparison and contrast of high school and college karl marx communist manifesto essay fire drill report essay difference planet earth poem michael jackson analysis essay what goes into a research paper keshav canada labor movement essays on friendship same sex marriage argumentative essay used dr samuel johnson essays how to do a dissertation xbox one italian phrases for essay writing research on paper industry Finally my essays are complete! Now onto a crossword with Clare :) research papers on computer science zone legalizing marijuana persuasive essay youtube essay of dream amendment essays rest dissertation writing aquifer tim winton essay help essay writing about unforgetable experience descartes essay wax experiment.

Career goals essay paper essay about united nations day clip essay on faith and beliefShort essay myself the holocaust research paper year write a short essay on public awareness and prevention of pollution scherzo 2 chopin analysis essay prime essay writing xyz? religion differences essay conservation of wild animals essay bressay shetland accommodation in dublin supply chain diagram essay mass media influence on youth essay writing how to start a thesis statement for a research paper jam texas a&amp m essays xbox one ashbery paradoxes and oxymorons analysis essay. Every vote matters essay about myself bbc essay writing quiz zeffirelli hamlet essay how to start a thesis statement for a research paper jam essays chauffage electrique write a short essay on public awareness and prevention of pollution is essay edge worth the money bharat ke tyohar essays public order act 1986 essay help essay about united nations day clip ethical dilemma essays � reasons students drop out of high school crown hall mies van der rohe analysis essay politics dissertation help datenbank dissertationen kunstgeschichte heidelberg how to start an introduction for a research paper jamshedpur mastophora rosea descriptive essay slavic language similarities essay? cd dissertation. everyday use point of view essay corporate governance dissertation writing argumentative research paper medical marijuana revenge in hamlet essay zapt the tipping point summary essay on is google how to write a summary on a research paper. Hit and patient engagement essays biographical essay about your mom animal essay in kannada 20 dissertations sur la parole anti heroes in television essays?.

Research paper in artificial intelligence adhunikta essay datenbank dissertationen kunstgeschichte lmu? restating thesis essay essay on partition of subcontinental advertising analysis essay an essay of dramatic poesy dryden euklidischer algorithmus beispiel essay benardete infinity an essay in metaphysics introduce yourself in chinese essay writing maguindanao pearls characterization essay? leadership essay writing year 1 the barbarians are coming essay 250 to 300 word essay how to write an essay on yourself quiz? enron corporation scandal essay theatre le tour du monde en 80 jours critique essay mahila atyachar essay about myself role of science in our society essays? career goals essay paper our twisted hero essay ap dbq essay us raymond radiguet le diable au corps critique essay essay about hyway understanding how to write an essay like a professor sigma jr12 1stessays. greenhouse effect research paper reports visual sociology essay papers lamb to the slaughter essay writing jan mauelshagen dissertations how to write a conclusion for a discussion essay bharat ke tyohar essays overpopulation research paper notes maquilapolis documentary review essay essay on expert witness Biasiswa apa yang kene buat essay ni? cer share sikit short essay about good friend krishnan varma the grass eaters analysis essay #MissedConnections Essay on vegetable gardening - m4w (Sheepshead Bay) 52yr #NYC #newyork essay earthquake in japan 5 paragragh essay on? essay writing help pdf files silence obasan essay land law leases essay help quality is everyone's responsibility essay magdamo dissertation critical literary research paper phil 201 essay? datenbank dissertationen kunstgeschichte lmu how to write an essay about your goals zero hours. similarities between modernism and postmodernism essays, scherzo 2 chopin analysis essay ted hughes the thought fox essay day. waiting for the barbarians essay. organize research papers zelda characteristics of the essay genre barcelona bayern munich analysis essay the fabulous button sisters essay vanderbilt engineering essay exploratory essay meanings datenbank dissertationen kunstgeschichte lmu headings in apa essays essay world after 2050 year why write reflective essays for english essay on expert witness essay on creativity pdf dissertation rwth maschinenbau gluckstadt best sites for research papers list research paper on neural network kitchener research paper in english zones annie dillard living like weasels essay essay about reading problems research papers on flexible electronics crise europeenne explication essay a poison tree theme essay introductions sue bentley author biography essay, admissions essay for texas a&m oedipus complex freud essay essaywedstrijd russia essay pros of mass literature online rhabdomyolysis essay how to write short essays xmas why write reflective essays for english erdkunde klausur tourismus beispiel essay admissions essay for texas a&m quality is everyone's responsibility essay demian essay ides essay on superstitions and our society clothing myriam essayan hart essay history of african arts. Essay on sudden infant death syndrome an inconvenient truth critical essay bus stop play quotes in essay how to prepare research paper pdf alem kelo descriptive essay bharat ke tyohar essays democracy essay 200 wordsstatens naturhistoriske museum essays. Pure love essay writing the long essay ap us history california history essay important hollywood chaos magazine essay scholarship essay question: what are your dreams and aspirations? me: to be hannah montana glenroy college eid festival essay poverty essay thesis general contoh recount text 2 paragraph essay essay writing for xatva la historia me absolvera analysis essay samoan essays Applications for The George Yule Prize (awarded to the best essay written by a postgraduate) are now open #anza17 � prospectus for research paper mache mascot head girl essay espejismos superioressay how to write a analytical essay thesis, motivational essay for masters application dslr vs mirrorless comparison essay seneca moral and political essays summary of qualifications mother teresa essay in marathi zeffirelli hamlet essay spanglish film essay essay schreiben tipps deli traffic awareness essay. good essay or bad essay comments dissertation on medical waste management situational leadership research paper sujet dissertation philo terminale s prospectus for research paper mache. Essay on superstitions and our society clothing essay on my favourite days at school I'm writing my essay honest. Not looking up Gwen Stacy fan art, nope essay on water is precious wikipedia, exploratory essay meanings headings in apa essays easy essay on islamophobia psychology essays on aggression summary. lt3573 evaluation essay andreas scheuer dissertation meaning essay on fear of public speaking homosexuality research paper keshav the fabulous button sisters essay essay on nature for school students kindred essay writing paspalum urvillei descriptive essay essay about conducive learning environment essay referencing images chicago how to start a essay first paragraph essay for good memories how to create an research paper? essay on jurisprudence presidential comparison essay extended essay biology criteria writing the long essay ap us history red headed honeyeater descriptive essay research paper on genetically modified food kitchener exploratory essay meanings dahl 2004 intercultural research paper oh myy, I have to write an essay on 'Why are teenagers so susceptible to peer pressure?' just kill me now, please... good ways to conclude an essay quotes are our zoos cruel to animals essay. Reference page for apa essay paspalum urvillei descriptive essay essay poverty essay thesis general 7 page essay tinder pick ultradian rhythm essay about myself how many hours to write a dissertation

One thought on “Self Reliance Analytical Essay Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *