This assignment provides you with a link to Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Self Reliance." In classes to come, we will work with this essay to explore our own individualism and independence in a world where being different is not always encouraged.

First, please read Emerson's "Self Reliance" essay. This is a long piece--I am only requiring you to read through the 14th paragraph, ending with, "To be great is to be misunderstood." Feel free to read on, however, if you are so moved. :o)

Second, write your reaction to the piece, explaining your thoughts in a free-writing style. Each paragraph should contain at least four to five sentences, and the paper should include at least three paragraphs, totaling two pages, double-spaced. Anything goes for the paper's content, as long as your writing relates to what you read in this essay. Be ready to share your ideas with the class.

Third, respond to 3 of the 5 following quotations from the essay. Each answer should be one full paragraph (4-5 sentences). You may choose from these quotes:

*"Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string."
*"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members."
*"Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist."
*"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
*"To be great is to be misunderstood."

Finally, read this biography of Emerson and ponder over his life and how it influenced "Self Reliance."

Please see me with any questions. Good luck!

(Adapted from a lesson plan by Andrew Kenen and Diane Seskes of Kenston High School, found at this address.)