The Importance of Relying on Oneself in Novels Essay

The Importance of Relying on Oneself in Novels Essay

Length: 1092 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Henry David Thoreau and Stephen Crane wrote about the importance of relying on oneself in their novels, Walden and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets respectively, while disagreeing on the significance of philanthropy and material possessions. Thoreau writes about his expedition to Walden Pond to find the true core values of life and connect with nature in his novel, Walden. He expresses romantic and philosophical views on life in Walden, emphasizing different themes such as simplicity, obscurity, and self-sufficiency. Maggie: A Girl of the Streets features a young immigrant woman of the grimy New York tenements, who falls into a hopeless romance, forcing her into the neglected life of a prostitute.
Thoreau accentuates the benefits of self-reliance throughout his stay at Walden Pond. Thoreau writes, “I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I have built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only” (7). He puts an emphasis on the personal pronouns to exaggerate how he supported himself. Thoreau uses his stay at Walden Pond as a justification that relying on oneself is most efficient, rather than depending on others. His experience at Walden Pond displays the practicality of self-reliance. Thoreau writes, “For more than five years I maintained myself thus solely by the labor of my hands, and I found that, by working about six weeks in a year, I could meet all the expenses of living” (58), to prove the productivity of relying on oneself.
Stephen Crane accentuates the importance of self-reliance through Maggie’s incapability to support her. Maggie is born into a family with social and economic constraints. She is brought up in a low-l...


... middle of paper ...


...ee greatly on the meaning of materialistic objects. Thoreau refers to materialistic objects as “gewgaws”, and believes that materialistic possessions are degrading. He believes that anything that exceeds what is necessary complicates life. Stephen Crane considers materialistic possessions carries value in one’s life. According to Crane, the quantity and quality of material possessions correspond with someone’s worth in society. Walden and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets emphasizes the importance of self-reliance, yet disagreeing on the value of poverty and the significance of materialistic possessions.




Works Cited

Crane, Stephen. Maggie a Girl of the Streets (A Story of New York). Ed. Kevin J. Hayes. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999. Print.
Thoreau, Henry David. "Economy." Walden and Civil Disobediance. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2003. 7-65. Print.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Pessimism in Thomas Hardy's Novels Essay example

- The purpose of this article is to elaborate Thomas Hardy’s pessimism .The three novels of his namely Far From Madding Crowd , Tess Of D’Urbervilles , and Jude The Obsecure have the reflection of his life and relationships. The major elements in his novels are fate and chance responsible for a character’s ruin. Inspite of this all his novels are not totally dark some ends with a hopeful note. Introduction : Thomas Hardy is regarded a major contributor to English novel , born in rural Dorchester ....   [tags: marriage, novels, philosophy, fate]

Strong Essays
3261 words (9.3 pages)

Analysis Of The Article ' Beside Oneself ' Essay

- Summary Response to Butler’s “Beside Oneself” In the featured article, “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy,” the author, Judith Butler, writes about her views on what it means to be considered human in society. Butler describes to us the importance of connecting with others helps us obtain the faculties to feel, and become intimate through our will to become vulnerable. Butler contends that with the power of vulnerability, the rolls pertaining to humanity, grief, and violence, are what allows us to be acknowledged as worthy....   [tags: Emotion, Human, Meaning of life, Religion]

Strong Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)

Personal Opinion Essay: Short and Long Length Literature and Example Novels

- If literary works were to be split into two categories based on length of work, I would propose that these categories could be works that take the average reader less than half an hour to read, referred to as shorter length literature, and more than half an hour to read, referred to as full length literature. If this claim is accepted, then I would believe that short stories, short drama pieces, and poetry would fit into the shorter length literature category, while the full length literature category holds longer drama pieces, novels, and novellas....   [tags: Novels, Stories]

Strong Essays
1109 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about To Know Oneself; To Live an Examined Life

- The first step to achieving any measure of progress in any activity is admitting the existence of an area in need of improvement and accepting the action necessary for successful development. In developing an identity and living an examined life, it is important to engage in internal reflection and evaluation for the benefit of truly knowing oneself. With this inner insight and personal identity, an individual can lead a successful and meaningful life. True personal progress can only be fully achieved through the procedural acquisition of awareness and acceptance and the performance of the action needed for improvement in regard to all aspects of individual health and prosperity....   [tags: Progress, Improving, Acceptance]

Strong Essays
1645 words (4.7 pages)

Beside Oneself By Judith Butler Summary Essay

- Judith Butler, in her essay entitled “Beside Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy” from Undoing Gender, explains how there are restrictive norms regarding gender and sexuality. She speaks about how society creates norms that people should follow. If one does not follow these norms, they are like the outcasts of society, the people who do not fit in. Butler is not the only person who has knowledge regarding social norms, but various other people, like authors, psychologists, and teachers, also have a clear understanding of social norms and the effects of social norms....   [tags: Sociology, Social psychology, Norm]

Strong Essays
1674 words (4.8 pages)

Besides Oneself Judith Butler Summary Essays

- Stereotypes have become a socially accepted phenomena in today’s society. So socially acceptable, in fact, they have made it onto advertising billboards and into our daily language. We do not think twice as they pass our tongues, and we do tilt our heads in concern or questioning as they pass into our ears. In Judith Butler’s essay “Besides Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy”, stereotypes are exposed and explored. Especially stereotypes pertaining to sexual orientation. Butler explains how stereotypes are unacceptable....   [tags: Human, Thought, Human anatomy, Humans, Morality]

Strong Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Analysis of Third Person Narratives of Two Novels Essay

- Ask any author what the most important aspect of their work is (whether that be fiction or not) and they will all probably say the same four things: plot, setting, characters, and narration. This is also true for the three novels we have studied thus far in class: Vathek, The Castle of Otranto, and The Mysteries of Udolpho. The dark ‘gloomth’ setting, the larger-than-life characters, and the supernaturally centered plot lines all make these books Gothic novels, but how would one characterize the narrators....   [tags: gothic novels, arabian setting, narratives]

Strong Essays
1375 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Power of Jane Austen’s Novels

- Jane Austen’s career followed novelists such as Ann Radcliffe and Laurence Sterne, at a time when the Gothic and Romance novels were very popular. However, Jane Austen did not look favorably upon these styles, believing them to be harmful to both literature and the reader. In writing her own novels, Austen parodied these genres, but not merely for a humorous effect. She had specific messages that she wanted to get through to her audience, through this method. She wanted to impress upon her reader the value of that which is ordinary, but real, the importance of thinking for oneself, and to make logical judgments of characters....   [tags: Ann Radcliffe, Laurence Sterne]

Strong Essays
1734 words (5 pages)

Essay on George Bluestone’s Novels into Film

- George Bluestone’s Novels into Film The first chapter of George Bluestone’s book Novels into Film starts to point out the basic differences that exist between the written word and the visual picture. It is in the chapter "Limits of the Novel and Limits of the Film," that Bluestone attempts to theorize on the things that shape the movie/film from a work of literature. Film and literature appear to share so much, but in the process of changing a work into film, he states important changes are unavoidable....   [tags: Bluestone Novels Films Essays]

Strong Essays
693 words (2 pages)

Anti-Semitism in Anthony Trollope's Palliser Novels Essay

- Anti-Semitism in Anthony Trollope's Palliser Novels Because Anthony Trollope belonged to the Liberal party, one would assume that he would be less concerned with the glorification of a specific social class to the neglect of any other. Yet, of the major novelists of the Victorian period, none was more infatuated with the code of the gentleman than Trollope. His political beliefs, which might seem to conflict with those of a Liberal, are best defined by his own description of himself as "an advanced, but still a conservative Liberal" (Autobiography 291)....   [tags: Anthony Trollope Palliser Novels Essays]

Free Essays
3548 words (10.1 pages)