The idea of self-reliance is an American idea.
Self-reliance is a way of life when one is reliant on one\'s
own capabilities, judgment, and resources. When someone
is self-reliant they are completely Independent. Many
American authors have used examples of this idea,
self-reliance, in a lot of their writing.
For example, in a Progress to the Mines by Byrd
examples of self-reliance are present. In the beginning of
the story Byrd writes about a character who Ò... rode eight
miles together over a stony road,Ó in order to get to a
house. This shows self-reliance because riding eight miles,
all by himself, is a hard task to accomplish. Especially back
then when the story took place because there werenÕt
very many people around to help one if one got into
trouble. Byrd shows another example of self-reliance when
he was describing one of the main characters who ran an
iron mill. He described him as Ò great a master in the
mystery of making Iron, where in he had led the way and
was the tubal-cain of Virginia.Ó This shows self-reliance
because Byrd shows that this character is the best iron
maker around and that heÕs self-reliant in doing it. Byrd
shows self-reliance once again while describing this same
character. He said ÒHe was... first in North America who
had erected a regular furnace.Ó This shows self-reliance
because he set up this iron mill and furnace in the middle of
nowhere with no help from anyone else. All three of these
examples show that Byrd has examples of self-reliance in
his writing.
Another American writer who has examples of
self-reliance in his writing is Franklin. In FranklinÕs Poor
RichardÕs Almanac he shows many examples of
self-reliance. Franklin says that ÒGod helps them that help
themselves.Ó This greatly advocates self-reliance. Franklin
is saying that you should help yourself, i.e. be self-reliant,
before looking to God, or anyone else, for help. Franklin
shows self-reliance again when he says ÒKeep thy shop
and thy shop will keep thee.Ó Franklin is saying that if you
work hard at something like keeping a shop you will be
supported by that hard work and that you will be
self-reliant. Franklin shows self-reliance once again by
saying, ÒAt the working manÕs house hunger looks in, but
dares not enter.Ó In this quote Franklin is saying that if you
work hard youÕll never be hungry, youÕll never have to
depend on someone else for food, and that youÕll be
self-reliant. These three examples show that Franklin has
examples of self-reliance in his book Poor RichardÕs
In an other piece of writing by Franklin, The
Auto-Biography, examples of self-reliance are also present.
In this book Franklin writes about his childhood. He writes
about when he wrote anonymous articles for his brotherÕs
paper. He writes Ò...I contrived to disguise my hand, and
writing an anonymous paper...Ó This shows that he is
self-reliant because he writes the articles for his brotherÕs
paper with no one else\'s help. Franklin continues talking
about his childhood and writes about when he gains his
freedom from his brother. He writes Ò...I took upon me to
assert my freedom...Ó In this quote Franklin is standing up,
all by himself, and is asserting his freedom from his brother.
This shows self-reliance because his is doing this all on his
own with no oneÕs help. This also shows self-reliance
because once he became free he didnÕt have his brother
to depend on for work anymore and he had to go out on
his own. The book goes on to say that ÒDuring the next
several years Franklin becomes a successful printer and
businessman.Ó This shows self-reliance because Franklin
starts out with nothing and with no help from anyone yet he
becomes successful. These examples show that Franklin
has examples of self-reliance in The Auto-Biography.
An other American author that uses examples of
self-reliance in his writing is Thoreau. In Walden, Thoreau
uses many examples of self-reliance. For example in the
first opening paragraphs Thoreau describes where he is
living. He writes Ò...I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from
any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself...Ó This
shows self-reliance in many different ways. First, he writes
that he was living alone, without the help of anyone,
meaning that he must have been self-reliant, in order to
survive. The second way it shows self-reliance is that he
built his house by himself. Without help from anyone else
this would be very difficult task for someone who wasnÕt
self-reliant. Thoreau shows self-reliance again when he
writes that he Ò...earned [his] living by [his] own hands
only.Ó This shows self-reliance because he relied on work
that he did with his