Compare Romanticism And Transcendentalism

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The peak of American Romanticism in the 1800s brought forth thousands of new ideas, poems, and rebellions towards the Enlightenment. From this time of pure creativity, great poets and philosophers rose. Poets Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson shared common ideas about nature, individuality, and existential topics, as they were both inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In works such as “I Sing the Body Electric” by Walt Whitman and “The Soul Selects Her Own Society” by Emily Dickinson, they differentially express their innermost thoughts of the individuality and distinctiveness of humans, which incorporates the Transcendentalist ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson, specifically in his essay, “Self Reliance”. American Romanticism and Transcendentalism…show more content…
Another part of Transcendentalism is equality, and not shaming or discriminating against people based on gender or race, which was often unheard of in the time of Romanticism. “I Sing the Body Electric” is an excellent illustration of these rare opinions, as in the topic of gender equality, Whitman states “Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest, and is the exit of the rest, You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.”(5.25-27). In this fifth stanza, he emphasizes the importance of women and how they should be privileged and not ashamed, ideas that are still impacting the world today. One of the reasons Walt Whitman was well-known included his ideas that were uncommon of his time, ideas that shocked society. Whitman was very open about his beliefs, although Emily Dickinson took a different approach. Dickinson was believed to be a Transcendentalist because of poems she wrote incorporating Transcendental ideas, one of these being “The Soul Selects Her Own Society”. Throughout the poem, Dickinson clearly referred to the person of topic as “her” rather than “his” on purpose, putting emphasis on the importance and coveted independence. Contrasting Whitman, she

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