Compare And Contrast Emerson And Transcendentalism

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Transcendentalism was a literary and philosophical movement in a America that was looking for an identity. The main ideas of transcendentalism are that the individual should be independent and that man is inherently good.They also thought that individuals should find God through nature.Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were the leaders of transcendentalism. Both Emerson and Thoreau wrote about these ideas and expanded them to nature and god. The leader of transcendentalism were looked down upon but their ideas are still relevant today. A theme that connects the transcendental writings of Thoreau and Emerson to modern time is the idea that says that society is not good for individuals. In his essay “Self-Reliance”, Emerson presents the theme eloquently. Emerson believed that an individual should be independent and not think about society. This is evident when Emerson writes that “infancy conforms to nobody” because a small child does not care what society thinks about the small child 's behavior (Emersion1 par.4). Emersion further expands the idea from infancy to a man by saying that a man is “clapped into jail by his consciousness” because of judgement that is given to a man from society(Emersion1 par.5). This judgement can make individuals change their behavior and not express who they are on the inside. Emerson essentially tells men who have conformed to society to trust themselves and be independent. When Emersion tells men not conform to society, he implies
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