Historical Context

New England Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism took root in New England in the mid-1830s in reaction against the rationalism...

(The entire section is 754 words.)

Self-Reliance Literary Style

Rational Argument
The essay is, above all, a carefully constructed rational argument with the goal of persuading readers to...

(The entire section is 899 words.)

Self-Reliance Compare and Contrast

Mid-1800s: Transcendentalism, which borrows some elements of Eastern philosophies and religions, takes hold in Massachusetts and...

(The entire section is 327 words.)

Self-Reliance Topics for Further Study

Emerson mentions many accomplished men in "Self-Reliance." List five to ten people who have lived since Emerson's time who are examples of...

(The entire section is 220 words.)

Self-Reliance What Do I Read Next?

Essays: First and Second Series (1990), edited by Douglas Crase, combines all of the essays that Emerson originally published in two...

(The entire section is 181 words.)

Self-Reliance Bibliography and Further Reading

‘‘Emerson: His Failure to Perceive the Meaning of Evil,’’ in The Cambridge History of English and American...

(The entire section is 364 words.)

Self-Reliance Bibliography

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Allen, Gay Wilson. Waldo Emerson: A Biography. New York: Viking Press, 1981.

Bosco, Ronald A., and Joel Myerson, eds. Emerson in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2003.

Buell, Lawrence. Emerson. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003.

Goodman, Russell B. American Philosophy and the Romantic Tradition. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Jacobson, David. Emerson’s Pragmatic Vision: The Dance of the Eye. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.

Lopez, Michael. Emerson and Power: Creative Antagonism in the Nineteenth Century. De Kalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1996.

Myerson, Joel, ed. A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Porte, Joel, and Saundra Morris, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Richardson, Robert D. Emerson: The Mind on Fire. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

Robinson, David M. Emerson and the Conduct of Life: Pragmatism and Ethical Purpose in the Later Work. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Sacks, Kenneth S. Understanding Emerson: “The American Scholar” and His Struggle for Self-Reliance. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Yanella, Donald. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Boston: Twayne, 1982.