Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Quote Essay

Submitted By benosipow123
Words: 517
Pages: 3

Transcendentalism In Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay, Self Reliance, had many points that stood out to me in understanding the importance of individuality and supporting oneself. The main quote that resonates with me is “Trust thyself; every heart vibrates to that iron string.” This quote is prevalent in my life because I have particular doubts whether it is with schoolwork, my friends I affiliate myself with, or the sports I decide to play. This quote inspires me to trust myself in whatever I do and realize I have a purpose in life, understanding that the chain of events happening in my life is for a greater purpose. Emerson’s quote is defiantly thought provoking, especially in the time of his life because there were many reforms that came about during the 1800s. These changes came about through events such as the temperance movement, labor movements, women’s suffrage, education reforms, and religious reforms. All of these social reforms became the basis of change for America. I feel as if Emerson’s quote reflects this time period because many people were coming together for causes they care about in order to better America. They trusted themselves in what they believed in, realizing that the time period they were in was the perfect opportunity for change. For example, with the case of Dorthea Dix and prison and asylum reform; many people didn’t care about the conditions of prisoners and the mentally ill. However, Dorthea Dix did not allow for anyone’s opinions or the intimidation of a legislative all-male audience change her mind in what she believed in. The most important idea that stems from Emerson’s quote, and the idea of transcendentalism, is that the reliance on, and acceptance of ourselves are the keys to achieving ‘oneness’ by the way of trusting our thoughts.
Emerson’s quote is also pertinent to today’s time considering that many people allow the actions in society to influence their thoughts and actions. We cannot base our actions and feelings on how others