Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Rachael LaLiberty CP English 1 Mrs. May February 25, 2002 In the essay Self-reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson who is a white American. Emerson explains the duties of men in his own words, one person cannot complete something unless with out the help of the other workers. If one man stops working everyone must stop because you can not fill the spot of a worker without replacing another worker. Emerson also says that you do not know what you are capable of doing until you have tried. Frederick Douglas an African American slave is a perfect definition of what Emerson calls self-reliance. In the story " The Battle With Mr. Covey, Douglas explains how he worked in the wheat field and on the hottest day of the year he had been working all day and could not possibly take any more. Douglas had to stop and take a rest, but he new he couldn't because if he did it would ruin the entire assembly line.

He works until he collapses, then crawly under the fence so he won't get caught. Douglas is beaten and finally gets the energy to run away, he goes to his owner's house to see about getting a new family to work for. Douglas is told to go back and that he probably deserved to get beaten and to go back right away. When he gets back he is beaten.

Douglas was a very bright young African American man, with a heart to learn. Mr. Covey's wife taught Douglas, until she found out how wrong it was. Douglas's determination to learn was so strong that he would pay the neighboring kids with bread and biscuits in exchange for knowledge. The kids would teach him how to read and write.

As Emerson said god will not have his work made by cowards, he also says to trust thyself. In order to accomplish you dreams you must trust in yourself, if you want something bad enough you will eventually get it and tat is actually what Douglas did.

In the part of the story "The Battle with Mr. Covey" Douglas beats Mr. covey up, while all the other guys stand around and watch not trying to help either man. Douglas gets his point across and Mr. Covey who was not expecting it doesn't do anything after the fact he is now afraid of Douglas. In order for Douglas to get somewhere he had to first get his point across, which he did by beating on Mr. Covey. Later on Douglas runs away and his friends by him his freedom.

I think of Emerson and Douglas as one person. Emerson was writing the life and Douglas living the life. The self-reliance referred to Douglas's life almost word for word. Emerson did a great job of explaining man and how they can be so horribly mean to one another sue to color and race. Emerson was a smart man with a lot of hope for his future he also had it mush easier than Douglas. Douglas had to put fourth more than one hundred percent.