In his 1841 publication called Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson includes an essay simply entitled Self-Reliance in which he states "Trust thyself…Great men have always done so and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age…" .
We develop an opinion of what makes a person “great.” In the well-known essay “Self-Reliance”, Ralph Waldo Emerson provides a beautiful way of approaching these choices, and he reveals a very inspiring set of values centralized around going through life answering only to yourself....
Emerson's essay urges us to take our ideas seriously, not lightly. Does your idea resonate with your innermost voice of reason and conscience? It's worth thinking about these quotes.
This very controversial poem, "The Sphinx" written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, displays the religious aspects of his life, but also the mystery and sorrow of his life.
In the words of RalphWaldo Emerson, "We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our ownhands; we will speak our own minds...A nation of men will for the first timeexist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which alsoinspires all men."
Some listed here may now be out of print or unavailable. (Sacks)
Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" is often the first or only exposure students get to Emerson's thought. Here are some resources to help understand this essay:
An essay introducing the background and context of Transcendentalism, for help in understanding where Emerson's ideas came from.
From Emerson himself, with some dictionary and other simple definitions listed as well.
Basic information on Transcendentalism - links to the two items above plus more.
- HTML searchable copy of the text at
Ann Woodlief's excellent introduction to the Emerson essay, Self-Reliance.
An article by Alfred I.
The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836)
In his essay, "Nature", Ralph Waldo Emerson describes man's relationship to nature and to God.
L. Tom Perry Special Collections contains many early publications by the Transcendentalists, from works by major figures of the movement like Ralph Waldo Emerson (including his seminal essay, Nature), Henry David Thoreau (a first edition of Walden is pictured here), and Theodore Parker; to lectures given at the Concord School of Philosophy.
These works are complemented by the collection, which encompasses the work of her father, Transcendentalist philosopher Amos Bronson Alcott. Special Collections’ newest acquisitions of works by Transcendentalist writers include a 1903 anthology, The Poets of Transcendentalism, which collects many of the poems printed in the short-lived periodical The Dial, and the first edition of Bronson Alcott’s memorial collection Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Estimate of his Character and Genius (1882).
Although Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau shared similar views and beliefs relating to Transcendentalism, the approach each author took in writing and making the ideas that were so important concrete was not alw...
With such essays and works as Nature and Self-Reliance, Emerson set himself as the leader of a movement toward Nature and the entity known as “the Over-soul”....
The currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) In his essay, "Nature", Ralph Waldo Emerson describes man's relationship to nature and to God....
Ralph Waldo Emerson was known first as an orator. Emerson converted many of his orations in to essays. A student of Emerson's essays will also want to study Emerson's since he often worked out in his journal entries ideas that later appear in his orations and essays.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was considered by many to be the central American figure in literacy, His transcendentalism deeply affected his writing, making it his poetic them found throughout his poetry, such as: Bra...