4. I agree with Emerson and believe that society values conformity above all. In the excerpt, Emerson stated that one can only achieve greatness if he/she is not bound to the generally accepted moral code(15), and then wrote that all great souls were at their times “misunderstood(61)”, or unaccepted. These important men were wise and all made tremendous impact on mankind, but were still unaccepted because they were “nonconformists(15)”. Therefore, it is clear that society values conformity more than anything else.
5. Emerson wrote:” He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, … (15).” Emerson believed that ones who merely followed the existing moral code instead of pursued their own goodness were “cowards”, and that these cowards would never achieve greatness and be close to God. 6. The Bill of Rights, to some degree, encourages independence by ensuring one his/her basic rights when he/she pursues his/her individual “goodness” and goes against the established moral codes. On institution which discourages independence and selfreliance would be the public education system where all children are given the samely filtered information and are subjected to the same examination system. 7. Selfreliance is indeed hard to obtain. The essence of Emerson’s self reliance is living by one’s own moral code instead of the readily seen established moral code of the society. Acting against this general moral code would bring onto you judgements and possibly contempt from ones “who think they know what is your duty better than you know it(34)”. Another reason why self reliance is hard to obtain is that in today’s society, nobody is truly independent from others. One’s actions and reactions would inevitably, and often negatively impact the people he/she loves. 8. A poor man can achieve self reliance easier than a wealthy man can because a wealthy man has more to lose. Like Emerson said, the nonconformists would ...
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