What is the summary for "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson?

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Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance," originally published in the book Essays, suggests that depending on the rules and regulations of society to dictate one's life limits one's ability to explore their true selves. In the essay, Emerson encourages individuals to explore free-will and worry more about their own needs than those of their society.

As the essay begins, Emerson indicates that babies are the model of nonconformity and adults should strive to experience the world the way that infants do. Emerson suggests that as one ages, she or he loses bits of his or herself in favor of conforming to the norms and expectations of society. At the time, it was thought that resisting one's desires in favor of behaving as the society wanted was in essence resisting the devil. Emerson goes on to say that even if the devil is behind...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 432 words.)

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