Self-Reliance Questions and Answers
by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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In Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance, what does the following quote mean: "I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me"?

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This quote, from Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson , is one of the many very strong statements made my Emerson in this piece. When he cites those family members, "father and mother and wife and brother," he is citing the people who are, basically, forgotten, and left alone whenever "his genius calls." This suggests two things. First, it suggests that Emerson believes he is and has genius which may call to him at any time. Secondly, he feels that whenever...

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kmalone614 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write32 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial