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Word Count: 1,038
The Nature of The Beast Most profound and original thoughts are likely to have significant impact on social norms Such is the case of the ideas expressed in Emersons essay Self-Reliance Some would say that such views incite immoral behavior breeding social deviants such as Charles Manson While this may be partly true one cannot ignore how the same views may result in socially upstanding citizens as well such as the persona portrayed as Erin Brockovich One might first object to this idea because of the obvious contradiction Yet one must take into consideration it would only be a contradiction if all things other than Emersons ideas were equal and rarely if even possible could everything else be equal With that being said one must ask as to what exactly the views of Emerson in this essay are Most of his essay can be summed up with two words trust oneself He believes that the only true person one can trust is oneself that ones instincts are the only pristine thoughts All other ideas have been tarnished by social norms and values Rampant throughout society is the notion that one must think and act consistently with what one thought and did on days previous Emerson says that it is this desire for consistency that keeps one from following ones own instincts The terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency a reverence for our past act or word because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts and we are loathe to disappoint them 24 In other words Emerson is trying to say that any action done for consistency is pointless since it requires no original thought Emerson then goes on to say that no man can violate his nature 25 Now this raises an interesting point Is it possible for it to be in someones nature to desire to be consistent
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