First Wednesdays

Free Public Talks at Libraries around Vermont

What Does Emerson’s Essay on “Self-Reliance” Mean?

Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” draws many more readers than his other works. The very idea of self-reliance is central to how many Americans define both themselves and our culture. But, as Amherst College professor Barry O’Connell explains, Emerson plays with the meaning of the term until he finally dismisses it altogether. What, then, are we to make of the essay?

This video was recorded at the First Congregational Church of Manchester in Manchester, VT on March 6, 2019.

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