In his text, Emerson quotes others when he feels their thoughts align with his way of thinking-he also quotes some who he wishes to challenge. Consider quotations you have come across that inspire you to think bigger, or quotations that are commonly expressed that you might disagree with and wish to challenge.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Expanding Perspectives: The Power of Inspirational and Challenging Quotations

Ralph Waldo Emerson, known for his transcendentalist philosophy, often used quotations to support his ideas or to challenge conventional beliefs. Quotations have a unique ability to inspire us to think bigger, question our assumptions, and broaden our perspectives. They serve as condensed wisdom that can spark introspection and contemplation, leading us to new insights and understandings.

Thesis Statement:

Quotations, whether they inspire us to think bigger or challenge commonly held beliefs, have the power to stimulate critical thinking, expand our perspectives, and encourage personal growth and self-reflection.

Inspirational Quotations:

One quotation that has always inspired me to think bigger is from Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quote serves as a reminder that individual actions have the power to bring about significant transformations in society. It motivates me to strive for personal growth and positive change, no matter how small my contributions may seem.

Challenging Quotations:

On the other hand, a commonly expressed quotation that I find myself disagreeing with is “Ignorance is bliss.” While this saying implies that ignorance can lead to happiness by avoiding harsh realities, I believe that true fulfillment and growth come from facing challenges head-on and seeking knowledge and understanding. Embracing reality, even when it is uncomfortable, can lead to personal development and a deeper appreciation for life’s complexities.

Emerson’s Use of Quotations:

Emerson’s practice of quoting others reflects his belief in the power of diverse perspectives and the importance of challenging conventional wisdom. By incorporating quotations that align with his thinking or those that provoke thought, Emerson encourages readers to contemplate different viewpoints and form their own opinions based on reflection and personal experience.

The Impact of Quotations:

Quotations have the potential to act as catalysts for change, sparking new ideas, inspiring action, and challenging entrenched beliefs. They serve as windows into the minds of others, offering glimpses of wisdom and insight that can shape our own understanding of the world. By engaging with a variety of quotations, both inspirational and challenging, we can cultivate a more nuanced and enriched worldview.


In a world saturated with information and opinions, quotations stand out as timeless nuggets of wisdom that can inspire us to think bigger, challenge our assumptions, and embrace personal growth. Whether they resonate with our beliefs or provoke us to question them, quotations have the power to shape our perspectives and guide us on a journey of self-discovery and intellectual exploration. Just as Emerson used quotations to enrich his writing and challenge prevailing norms, let us harness the transformative potential of quotations to expand our horizons and deepen our understanding of the world.


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