Self-Reliance Questions and Answers
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-Reliance book cover
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In "Self-Reliance", according to Emerson, what is one major obstacle to achieving self-reliance?

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Throughout this fascinating essay Emerson makes it clear that in his mind, the antithesis of self-reliance is civilization because it encourages conformity. Note what he says about the negative impact of civilization and how it encourages us to relentlessly conform:

These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world. Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one...

(The entire section contains 215 words.)

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