Emerson is trying to inculcate hope for those whom may be struggling with nonconformity. He is reassuring them that they are great, in fact the greatest kind of man. The great are those who dare to be original and can hold their conviction in the face of criticism or reproach. Emerson doesn’t show how this makes them great though, other than the fact that it is holy to do so. Surely he clarifies why this makes them great later on, otherwise his message would fail. Ironically, Emerson is not this man, I would say. He relies heavily on Plato’s ideas, this is just a modern (for then) view of Plato’s realm of ideals and what it implies. In this way, Emerson is committing suicide because he is imitating.
Emerson is trying to make people represent themselves more accurately. He wants people to support what they believe, and not give into the tragedy that is traditionalism. He wants people to become aware of their inner self, he wants them to know what they believe, and them to believe it fully. He says that we are exposed to the influence of something dead, the ideas of men who have past, and that they occupy us and cause us to lose ourselves, our true self. He warns that this will lead to dissatisfaction, although the pursuit of something different, he admits, leads to dissatisfaction as well.
Nonconformity has touched me in many places. “My penis is 3 inches shorter than normal.” -Hannah. It doesn’t matter how short it is, you shouldn’t have one. Also, looking at Abby makes me want to buy a gun.
Nonconformity is what I aspire to. I enjoy testing myself against the trend, being anti-Tao. My nonconformity has been Facebook. I might be the only one in my school who doesn’t voluntarily have Facebook. I show my self control by not going on it, and by ignoring the pestering when someone tells me I should have it. I’ve been whipped by the world through missing out on social events and not knowing personal information about others. I don’t want to know about the other people’s life. There are very few people who I want to get to know as well as I would know anybody as a friend on Facebook.