It is impossible to learn about American literature in the 19th century without encountering Ralph Waldo Emerson. His influence was profound, and his essays, especially classics such as "Self-Reliance," are still read and discussed more than 160 years after their publication.
Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" is often the first or only exposure students get to Emerson's thought. Here are some resources to help understand this essay:
A tradition of worry
The implicit connection between violent media and violent behavior is so old that, like a barnacle clinging to a hull, it's not easily dislodged. The notion dates at least to the Victorian era, when educators, tastemakers and clergymen began criticizing what was then a fairly raucous popular culture. Violent, sex-soaked dime novels and penny-dreadful magazines were immensely popular, and upstanding publications such as Harper's and the Atlantic Monthly took delight in denouncing them. Author and critic Harold Schechter, whose 2005 book Savage Pastimes lays out a social history of violent entertainment, notes that the trend divided the literati of the time. Ralph Waldo Emerson complained about his countrymen “reading all day murders & railroad accidents,” but Nathaniel Hawthorne loved the scandal sheets so much that he had a friend ship stacks of them to Liverpool, England, while he lived abroad as a U.S. consul. The belle of Amherst herself, Emily Dickinson, relished stories of “those funny accidents where railroads meet each other, and gentlemen in factories get their heads cut off quite informally.”
New England Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in May 1803 as the fourth child ina family of eight and brought up in a family atmospheresupportive of hard work, moral discipline, and wholesomeself-sacrifice. Seven of his ancestors were ministers, and hisfather, William Emerson, was minister of the First Church(Unitarian) of Boston.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: American Transcendentalist Writer ..
. (1817-1862) American Philosopher,Unitarian,social critic, transcendentalist and writer. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson whoaroused in him a true enthusiasm for India.