The Good Life : Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

The Good Life : Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

Length: 1293 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Good Life
The good life, can be described as a multitude of different things for many different people and often varies within cultures and generations. While basic desires of the good life often include good health, wealth, and companionship, we all usually desire a bit more, personal wants. As discussed in class and throughout the readings, each philosopher presented to us had varying degrees of what they consider to be the good life and ways in which the good life can be achieved. While each philosopher had certain appealing aspects to there argument, I felt that Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idea of the good life best fit with desires and beliefs I previously held about life. It is especially easy, in our current society, to fall into the ways of those around us and lose our individuality. Despite having a rebellious heart by nature, I can often find myself conforming to those around me in order to fit in with everyone else. I believe that conformity is the silent killer of this generation’s individuality and for me to live a good life, I have to break away from this cycle of conformity and truly become and individual. As we are have heard time and time again, no one has ever changed the world by being like everyone else. This good life I strive to live, includes this idea of cutting that which connects me everyone else and changing my world and the world around me. According to Emerson, “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion;...” (212). I interpret this as the belief we must matured threw proper education to understand that we are each our own individual. In other words, we must...

... middle of paper ...

...because we are “more blessed” than others we need to give back and help them. But the fact is we only do so for the assurance from others and because we feel a sense of guilt for our being better off than others. Society needs to let the individuals determine on their own what they choose to do, free from the pressures of others. We are constantly concerned with what others think of us that we become trapped in self absorption which is a cause of unhappiness, according to Emerson. We as a society must also encourage individuality and creativity and not punish those who defy the normal. Conformity in today’s society is far more prevalent than individuality and this is showing to become detrimental to the advancements of our people. We need to place an emphasis on discovering your true self while discouraging conformity and focusing on inward behaviors and attitudes.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ralph Waldo Emerson 's A Good Man Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson said “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” “In a Good Man is Hard To Find” the Grandmother expresses herself as a lady of upmost standards. In actuality, she lives as a Grandmother from the old South whose mouth runs on its own. The Metamorphosis includes Gregor Samsa a self-proclaimed family man who tries to take on all of the responsibilities in the Samsa household. His way of living seems great for everyone, but at the same time does not seem necessary....   [tags: Family, The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa]

Better Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)

My First True Friend By Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- My birth on July 12, 1817 was the start of a life that would be what I wanted it to be(Salt 17). The evidence that I would lead a life of my very own was very prominent from the day I started school. I done well in school but I had a difficult time staying focused and following the rules. School did not interest me, but I persevered all the way through college. Graduating in 1837 was no easy feat. I had to interact with people daily, and my reserved, impersonal personality made it excruciatingly hard to make friends....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau]

Better Essays
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Theories Of Ralph Waldo Emerson

- A group of logical thinkers called the American Transcendentalists existed in the time lasting only roughly 20-30 years from the 1830s to the 1860’s, but the ideas of these philosophers in this particular era proved to be extremely unique. They focused on answering questions of the unknown and providing a deeper understanding of man and the universe. The Transcendentalist theories and ideas might have made a valid point in the 1800’s and actually made sense to follow through with and understand, however this concept does not seem to have a stable place in the world today....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)

Transcendentalist Movement : Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American lecturer, poet, and essayist who lead the Transcendentalist movement around the mid-19th century and changed the social values around him. Emerson wrote many essays about the value of individually and believed that thinking for one’s self and trusting originals ideas, and help reach inclusive truth that will benefit the society as a whole. Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 25, 1803. His father, William Emerson who was the pastor in church and his mother, Ruth Haskins....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism, Concord]

Better Essays
897 words (2.6 pages)

Benjamin Franklin And Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson want people to realize and develop potential within them. Even though both Franklin and Emerson advocate the notion of self-realization, they come up with different ideas about success, and have various attitudes toward people who are not successful in their perspectives. Instead of believing “their foot shall slide in due time” (Edwards, 209), Franklin and Emerson view individuals as empires full of potential rather than lives managed by God. Franklin seldom goes to public worship, because “their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.” (Franklin, 580) Yet, he still gives money to some churches because he thinks the chu...   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance]

Better Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Dicussion if Humans are Intriniscally Good and Possess Limitless Potential

- When a child is born they are pure. Their minds have not yet been corrupted by the sins of society. They truly represent the core of human nature because their goodness has not yet been crippled by cultural influence. They don’t read, go to school, or interact with many people. They are unable to bathe themselves, dress themselves or control their bowels; they are as innocent as a person can be. Slowly as the baby grows older and is exposed to differing opinions, literature, media, and the sins of the people around them; they begin to sin themselves....   [tags: Transcendentalism,God,ralph waldo emerson]

Better Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson And His Life Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803. He was the son of Ruth Hasking and William Emerson, who is a Unitarian Rev. Emerson 's father died (May 12, 1811) when Emerson was just seven years old, only two weeks before he turned eight. After the tragic death of his father Emerson was left to be raised by his mother and other women in the family. Mary moody Emerson, his aunt, had a very large amount of influence on his young life. She lived with the Emersons on and off and kept a close relationship with her nephew Ralph until she died in 1863.Emerson had formal scholastic training for the first time at Boston Latin school and 1812 at the young age of nine....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]

Better Essays
1597 words (4.6 pages)

Famous American Authors: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathanial Hawthorne

- The period of the late eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth was cosidered the Romantic era in Europe and in America. This movement was a large scale rebellion against the Englightment period ideas where science and logic ruled the literary arts. Authors took several approaches on how to convey to the readers social and metaphysical opinions through the tone in a series of novels published. Tone is apparent in much of the American Romantic era writing including that of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathanial Ha]

Better Essays
567 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about Ralph Waldo Emerson 's Self Reliance

- Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” essay is one of his most compelling and thought provoking pieces of work. It is compelling in the sense of its lyrical condonation as he writes his feelings in an infinitesimal usage of time. It is thought provoking in that it drives the reader to believe in their own intuition and common sense rather than conforming to the comfortable and easy agreeability of popular opinion. “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages” (Emerson, pp....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mind, Individualism, Thought]

Better Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803 in Boston, Massachusetts. Early in his life, Emerson followed in the footsteps of his father and became minister, but this ended in 1832 when he felt he could no longer serve as a minister in good conscience. He experienced doubts about the Christian church and its doctrine. These reservations were temporarily alleviated by his brief association with Unitarianism, but soon Emerson became discontent with even their decidedly liberal interpretation of Christianity....   [tags: People Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography Essays]

Better Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)