by Herman Melville
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Excerpt from "Self-Reliance"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
In this excerpt, American author and philosopher Emerson expounds his Transcendentalist beliefs about individuality and nonconformity.Pair “Excerpt from ‘Self Reliance’” with “Excerpt from ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street’” and ask students to discuss how Bartleby exhibits some of the characteristics that Ralph Waldo Emerson outlines in his text. In what ways is Bartleby an example of a “nonconformist”? Do students think that Bartleby’s refusal to comply with the lawyer’s requests is representative of a greater theme in the text? If so, what?