Is Complete Self-Reliance Possible?

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Self-Reliance - Is Complete Self-Reliance Possible? If you are self-reliant then you don’t need to depend on anyone. That is the obvious message that Emerson is trying to convey in his essay "Self-Reliance". It seems as though Emerson believes that we all need to be individuals and put ourselves before anyone else. However, the real question is “is it possible to be totally self-reliant”. After re-reading Self-Reliance I feel as though this question really can’t be answered. Emerson gives us a very confusing argument that seems to run around in circles with no apparent end in sight. He believes that we can all be "self-sufficient" but is that true? Most of the class seemed to believe that it is not possible to be "totally" self-reliant. Examples for this would be that not all of us are doctors and since injuries occur frequently as do "cold like" viruses it would be totally impossible to be self-reliant if you wished to live a long and healthy life. Another example would be the quest for knowledge, you have to depend on others that have lived before you and the books that they have written to truly understand the present world. But would this just be using the tools that are around you? There is no clear answer in the essay. The loopholes never stop but they eventually get answered somewhere in the essay but by then you are too confused to actually catch the meanings. The web-text really helped on this reading especially where the "major flaw" of the essay is concerned. I have to agree with both Ann Woodlief as well as the rest of the class that Emerson really did use "overkill" to the extreme in this essay. As the class was discussing the essay I immediately knew what was taking place but every time I thought I knew what was going on Emerson did a "twist and turn" that would confuse us. He didn’t seem to care if the reader understood everything he was speaking about just as long as they got the general idea. I guess he would just fill in the gaps later in the essay and didn’t feel as though he needed to explain every point. Another point that the class wanted to know about was, who is he writing this essay for. Is it for himself, his peers, the common man or possibly the college student?
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