The audience for Emerson’s essay. “The individual” refers to ordinary Americans whose intuition is constantly assaulted by self-doubt and societal pressures. Emerson exhorts the individual to reject these pressures and to achieve greatness by becoming self-reliant and trusting in intuition.
The enemy of self-reliance. Society pressures individuals to conform to social norms that oppress them. To Emerson, society is worthy of scorn.