Emerson on the Crime of Charity
$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now
The paper looks at Emerson's "Nature and Selected Essays" to demonstrate how Emerson's notion of self-reliance as being among the greatest virtues that one can develop would incline him to perceive charity with outright hostility. The paper explains how Emerson largely condemns charity as a consequence of expectations pushing toward societal conformity, and, he considers it a mode by which the charitable becomes a surrogate to the idleness and dependency of the individual in need. Furthermore, the paper explains that Emerson is highly skeptical of the alleged purity of intention driving charity, since he perceives charitable giving as an act of vanity and showiness rather than of true generosity. The paper posits that from his ideas that we can find a rationalization for the decidedly individualist, competitive and self-absorbed proclivities of American culture and the identity which it has produced.
From the Paper:"This is demonstrated in discussions throughout the collection of essays, Nature and Selected Essays, with Emerson largely condemning charity as a consequence of expectations pushing toward societal conformity. To Emerson, this was anathema. The thinker would express a disapproval at the idea that would should feel pressure to pull up others rather than to forge a society in which individuals are expressly inclined to pull themselves up. Taking the highly American, 'by the bootstraps' position, Emerson speaks from the position of a man who struggled to make his way in the world and, consequently, projected this struggle upon others. He takes a pointedly judgmental standpoint which may well be derived from the success of his own emergence from modesty to notoriety. In this regard, he considers it not just an act of irrelevance to provide charity to his fellow man but a mode by which the charitable becomes a surrogate to the idleness and dependency of the individual in need.
"To this point, Emerson decries the notion of giving as if to suggest that this act is only a further contribution to the laziness and lack of industry which the need individual has brought to society. For Emerson, the individual deserving of this kind of charity is quite rare indeed."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Emerson, R.W. (2003). Nature and Other Writings. Shambhala.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Emerson on the Crime of Charity (2013, April 30) Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/emerson-on-the-crime-of-charity-152855/
"Emerson on the Crime of Charity" 30 April 2013. Web. 20 October. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/emerson-on-the-crime-of-charity-152855/>