Self Reliance and Other Essays

Emerson (American Scholar and Self Reliance) and thoreau (walden)

compare and contrast both authors about

1. the relationship of individual to self (self reliance)


2. The relationship of individual to society


3. The relationship of individual to god/nature

please give me just one comparison and contrast about just one of the themes

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Yes, these two have definite similarities. Let's consider #1. Emerson's first book, Nature (1836), is perhaps the best expression of his Transcendentalism, the belief that everything in our world—even a drop of dew—is a microcosm of the universe. His concept of the Over-Soul—a Supreme Mind that every man and woman share—allowed Transcendentalists to disregard external authority and to rely instead on direct experience. "Trust thyself," Emerson's motto, became the code of Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau had his own mottos along the same lines. He believed in the individual. He wrote his famous "Walden" (1854), in part, as a testament to the individual unfettered by the demands of society. Like Emerson, self reliance was a corner stone of his writing. Sometimes cited as an individualist anarchist, Thoreau wrote that, "Much of Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."