Comparison Of Freedom In Emerson's Self-Reliance And David Thoreau

Decent Essays
In Thomas Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” he explains freedom by writing “and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do” leading to the simple answer of; freedom is having the power to do as one pleases (344). In “Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” and “Walden,” Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau both utilize their writings to demonstrate similar themes about freedom that Jefferson explained. Emerson is an advocate for freedom for all people regardless of gender, age, social status, etc. Through “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” readers understand freedom can be reached through nature, …show more content…
Emerson writes “These are the voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter into the world” because he is trying to explain how society corrupts an individual in comparison to solitude and nonconformity (551). Freedom in Emerson’s writings comes from the solitude and nonconformity he explains. Solitude provides freedom because an individual is away from everyone, laws, conflicts and work. Having solitude in life creates the ability to practice what you please and create an individual world based on circumstances chosen. The freedom and ability to create one’s own world not only comes from solitude in Emerson’s writings, it comes from being a self-reliant person. Self-reliance is relying own one’s own self not others. Self-reliance creates freedom because once again an individual has the power to do as they please without difficulties. To help explain freedom Emerson writes “What I must do, is all that concerns me, not what the people think” because in comparison to Jefferson’s “Declaration of Independence” both authors are explaining how freedom allows the ability to create one’s own laws, worships, thoughts and doings (552). In both “Nature” and “Self-Reliance” Emerson uses freedom as an underlying theme in order to help persuade individuals to take his advice towards nature, …show more content…
Freedom in Thoreau’s point of view is lost from owning things that require the need to devote time and attention in order to maintain. An example of this would be a farm because in order to maintain the farm, labor must be completed leaving little freedom to enjoy more. Throughout “Walden” Thoreau promoted freedom in similar ways as Jefferson by explaining his journeys to explore life and learn more about what life had to offer. Thoreau writes “Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails” because he wanted to explain that individuals need to experience nature or something similar that allows solitude in order to free themselves from society and conflicts (909). Thoreau encouraged readers to try somewhere new and learn new life experiences that let individuals live on their own rules and practices. When Thoreau decides to leave the woods of Walden he writes “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” (928). This quote relates to freedom because in order to have dreams an individual must have the freedom to create

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