Here is a start to the essay (typos and all...in note form).
1)Start with connecting Hawthorne and Emerson
It is clear when reading The Scarlet Letter that Hawthorne was influenced by the ideals that Emerson expressed in "Self-Reliance.
This influence can be seen most clearly in Hester Prynne.
In the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne embodies Emerson's Self-Reliance.
2)Continue with explaining Emerson's philosophy of self reliance.
In his essay Emerson offered a challenge to Puritanism. He challenges the reader to be original, follow instincts, and trust oneself
He says, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." He continues to suggest that one should not "live after the world's opinion." That it is better to live in solitude and independence than to be a follower. He further identifies that the law of ones own nature is the only law that can be sacred to an individual.
"The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. "
Emerson continues to call for individuals to break from custom and be oneself. he underscores that individuals should follow their heart.
"I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will do strongly before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. "
Ultimately, he does not dismiss convention, but indicated that it may not be followed in the course of being oneself. "I shall...