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Henry David Thoreau And Self Reliance Essay

, Research Paper Henry David Thoreau decided at a relatively young age to use his life as an experiment in self-education . His optimistic views on life and his goal-oriented lifestyle is reflected in his

, Research Paper

Henry David Thoreau decided at a relatively young age

to use his life as an experiment in self-education . His optimistic

views on life and his goal-oriented lifestyle is reflected in his

writing. In Where I Lived, and What I Lived For , Thoreau writes

about his appreciation for his tattered little abode, which was only

a defense against the outer environmental elements. Though the wind

blows through the house, he hears it as though it were a song from

the gods on Olympus. He recognizes his misfortunes, and is content

with the way things are. In a lot of ways, Thoreau reminds me of how

I wish I could be, and how Ralph Waldo Emerson encourages the entire

human race to be. Thoreau focused his life around only the essential

things, and lived as though life was a reflection of an inner

spiritual reality. Thoreau lived the way he did, in search of what it

truly is that men live for. Simplicity was his only necessity. It is

my understanding that throughout American history, our authors and

poets were typically philosophers who spent their lives in attempts

to better the lives of others by conquering that which affects us

negatively. Thoreau was such a man. We do not ride on the railroad;

it rides upon us . It is in this statement that Thoreau portrays that

people as a society make decisions, and we can either decide to sit

and ponder the day away in attempts to make our lives better, or work

away our lives. But if we do not get out leepers, and forge rails,

and devote days and nights to work, but go tinkering upon our lives

to improve them, who will build the railroads?

In conclusion, it is my understanding from researching Henry

David Thoreau and many other American writers of his time that he was

much like the rest; he was the self-reliant nonconformist that

Emerson urged all people to be . He secluded himself in order

to explore the depths of human thought, character, and emotion. In

his seclusion, he was capable of influencing mass amounts of people,

even to this day as his name is written in history books and text

books across the country.

Self-Reliance prompts the deep exploration of oneself. It

urges you to understand the divine self inside each of us, and

deliver yourself from the false bonds that hold you accountable to

who you pretend to or appear to be. It is not the impression of

others, but rather the understatement of ourselves that causes us to

sell ourselves short of our full potential, by playing the part of

someone higher or more accepted by society. Emerson reveals some of

himself in his writings in order to give a portrayal of that which he

is trying to explain. He encourages that in order to gain a true

perception of who you are, you must search deeply for an

understanding of whence you came; your values, heritage, and

traditions which formulate your being.

In seems from examination of Emerson s life, that he was an

individualist. He appeared to be more content with examining the

patterns of human thought and emotion than to live it for himself.

Regardless, it is my view that Emerson was a brilliant man,

defining the word enlightened with numerous passages regarding life,

intertwined with spirituality and nature.

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