What is the summary of paragraphs 1 through 17 of "Self-Reliance"? 

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Emerson opens this essay by talking about some original ("unconventional") lines he had read by a painter. It is the sentiment, more than the subject of the lines themselves, that leaves an impression (on Emerson and on people in general). He lists other great thinkers and geniuses such as Plato, Moses, and Milton. Emerson adds that too often we each dismiss our own individual genius. He implore the reader to listen to his/her own inner voice. He adds that we actually recognize our own individual thoughts in the words of such geniuses. These are thoughts we (too often) disregard because they are our own. The sentiment that struck Emerson (regarding the painter's text that he read) is that we all have these individual insights of genius, if only we would listen to the inner voice in each of us. 


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