Transcendentalism developed mainly during 1820s to 1840s and as a protest to the liberal New England Congregationalists. Transcendentalists believed in inheriting goodness of both man and nature, and its definition is “The view that the basic truths of the universe lie beyond the knowledge we obtain from our senses, reason, logic, or laws of science. We learn these truths through our intuition, our ‘Divine Intellect’” (“Transcendentalism” para 1). However, transcendentalists criticized Harvard University for emphasizing intellectualism and Unitarian church teaching at Harvard Divinity School. Transcendentalists thought that formulating religion and political parties were depraving the purity of the individual (“Thoreau and Emerson” para 3), which caused disrespect toward other races, especially African Americans.
In another words his religion is far from pure intellectual and what is very crystal clear is that for him religion is not institutional but individual. Philosophy Philosophical aspects are the integral parts of the transcendentalism for sure and excluding Emerson from this idea is not fair for both side either for transcendentalism or Emerson. People of his time had a kind of pure spiritual believes and Emerson specifically wanted to find a philosophical foundation in which people can feel the presence of the divine elements in their soul. In this respect he attempts to make a comparison between the ideal and the real. He was interested mostly in philosophical system in a way that intuition is at its origin and the moral conclusion is at the end.
Emerson, while endorsing a similar type of philosophy of nature, seems more stringent in his ideas of nature and less stringent in his actual communion with nature. Of course, this could be false. It might be his writing style and authoritative tone that seem to preach more than practice. Emerson gives few personal examples, so readers really don't know if he lives in the way that he suggests readers or listeners live. Emerson seems to focus a great deal on the ties between nature and the spirit.
Since Thoreau's graduation from Harvard, he had become a protégé of his famous neighbor and an informal student of Emerson's Transcendental ideas. Transcendentalism was an American version of Romantic Idealism, a dualistic Neoplatonic view of the world divided into the material and the spiritual. For Emerson, "Mind is the only reality, of which all other natures are better or worse reflectors. Nature, literature, history, are only subjective phenomena." For the Transcendentalist, the secret of successful living was to hold oneself above material concerns as much as possible and focus on the spiritual.
Emerson, the founder of the Transcendentalist movement, delivered Self-Reliance, to urge readers to be unique. All writers wanted to deliver a sense of sovereignty
Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Self-Reliance” Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of America’s most significant thinkers and writers, in what is believed to be his most important and influential expression of America’s spirit “Self-Reliance” talks about the importance and significance of individualism and being yourself. Throughout his writing, Emerson uses many rhetorical devices, interesting sentence structures and hortatory tone in order to successfully explain the importance of being yourself. Emerson’s work often times stands out due to his interesting way of writing, and even in the first paragraph, Emerson is quick to grab the attention of his audience by using a periodic sentence and a dash with which he states his claim, “To believe your own thought, to believe what is true for you in your private heart, is true for all men − that is genius” (Emerson 1). To put into other words, Emerson’s unique sentence structures in his writing really serve as effective and important tools. With the use of these unique structures and rhetorical devices, Emerson is able to really emphasize and highlight his main thought – the importance of being yourself.
Through powerful pictures painted with words, Emerson and Thoreau ask the reader to appreciate the beauty and form of the world around them. From Emerson’s discussion of seeing an oft witnessed landscape upside down through one’s legs to Thoreau’s dialogue about walking through the woods with no destination in mind, the reader gains an understanding of the immensity of the universe while also respecting the tiniest of changes and unobserved items of the past. Who has not had the pleasure of driving down an often travelled path to see something that was never noticed before? It is not that the item was absent on the previous trip, but that the mind and its business prevents one from seeing all of the nuances of a scene that has been viewed hundreds of times before. Both Emerson and Thoreau bring about a greater appreciation for nature through excellently written essays meant to enlighten one to the nature that surrounds and fills
In the essay Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the author believes that nature is a wonderful being, it is to be revered, and that nature is better than most people. Emerson conveys this attitude through the use of figurative language, comparing, and contrasting. Mainly, Emerson uses personification to represent nature as a living, breathing thing that is wiser than many humans. In addition, Emerson uses comparisons to show that only wise men know not to show a mean appearance, but this is a concept that nature easily grasps. Finally, Emerson uses contrasting to show that children can connect to nature easier than adults due to their simplistic outlook on life.
The transcendentalist view of the "divine universe".' The world is a temple whose walls are covered with emblems' (Emerson) " Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker." Transcendentalism appeared as a response against Unitarianism which is based on the theory that God is only one and the fact that people, who are the his sons, are not able to decide their life or after life. Transcendentalism also appeared as a response against the influence of John Locke, who considered the mind to be a
In the James Harvey Robinson story “On Various Kinds of Thinking” and the Ralph Waldo Emerson story “Self Reliance” both of the authors talk about the different ways people process information. Along with this, the two authors address how people pursue knowledge in different ways. For Robinson, he proves that people do not only apply their minds to work ideas out, but also the persuasion of others. On the other hand, Emerson states that we have learned to follow since it is all we have ever known and do not wish to risk stepping out of our comfort zones. Both of these authors write about similar ways of learning, but their ways also differentiate from each other.