never conformed to what society believes. Thoreau went to Walden for the purpose of strengthening
Both Chris McCandless and Ralph Waldo Emerson are against modern society’s way of living and believe one should live their life in a non-conformist lifestyle driven by the awe of nature. Emerson wrote an essay called “Nature”. There he talked about the relationship one should have to God through nature, and was a popular role model of the transcendentalist movement. Emerson was anti-governmental, believing one cannot own nature or the land. He also writes about how he feels welcomed in nature, more so than he does in a village or society, favoring the natural land over the land humans created. He urged adults to see the world through the way a child would adore it, in a purer loving way. This goes against many Americans’ viewpoints on life, then and even now. He also mentions that he believes nature is a kind force to everyone, and is never cruel. On the other hand, Chris McCandless’s life is documented by the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. Within the book, Chris’s past is documented by his inability to conform. He was expected to go to college, but after his experience freshman year summer travel, he
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”- Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism is an American philosophy that revolves around self-reliance and independence, commonly in nature, a Transcendentalist wants to find the true meaning in life. I believe that Chris McCandless was a Transcendentalist because he was able to leave his whole life behind and take on a minimalist lifestyle while having a strong relationship with god. However, I believe that I am not a Transcendentalist, but simply an adventurer. I had the opportunity to go to Mexico and visit the Yucatan rainforest and this lead me to be able to explore nature and feel the peaceful impact it can have on someone 's life.
Henry David Thoreau especially supported the interaction between man and nature. With his experiment at Walden, he addresses a modern concept known as minimalism, focusing on the way one must supply for himself with his basic necessities. His intentions were not to isolate himself, but moreso to separate himself from a life dependent upon others. Through his actions, he is able to criticise society and many of their needs.
Throughout history there has been a constant, man’s desire to experience new things. Two men that come to mind are Chris McCandless and Henry David Thoreau. Both men shared a similar reason for traveling into the wild. The differences in their journey’s that led to McCandless’s death and Thoreau’s success is the preparation and approach to the journey’s. Even though Chris failed on his journey he still was very much like Thoreau wanting to leave society in search for enlightenment. The two men may have had different approaches, but their ideals were very similar.
Thoreau not only made a critique of the modern society as Emerson did, but also he practiced his ideology: he experienced that life is better without crowd, luxuries and complexity. The transcendentalist poet spent two year close to nature. He lived at Walden Pond where he wrote entire journals recounting his experience. Thoreau is well known for his book “Walden” (1854). Having described the main characteristics of both, Emerson and Thoreau, at this point is significant to contextualize the texts “Self-reliance” (1841) and the second chapter of “Walden” (1854) to analyze the figurative language the authors
In the short story, “Death of an Innocent” by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless travels into the Alaskan wilderness with the intention of relying completely on himself. In the true spirit of transcendentalism, McCandless travels to escape the bounds of society and to remove himself from a materialistic world. Many argue, however, that Chris McCandless was not a transcendentalist because he travels to exotic lands as a means of avoidance, but actually, Chris McCandless is the epitome of a transcendentalist. Transcendentalists, however, rely on themselves and nature to survive and do not depend on material items. Transcendentalists romanticize individualism and believe that intuition is the best guide through life. McCandless shows multiple examples of these transcendentalist traits throughout the story, although there are times where he takes transcendentalism to the extreme.
In the chapter titled Where I Lived, and What I Lived For from Henry David Thoreau’s novel Walden, the author utilizes rhetorical strategies such as imagery and tone to convey how the distractions that accompany a progressing civilization corrupts society. Since he is a transcendentalist, his argument encapsulates the same principles of becoming free from the binds of society and seeking harmony with nature. He emphasizes those ideals when he states that “[he] went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if [he] could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when [he] came to die, discover that [he] had not lived”(276). In other words, he wanted to escape from society and live
Self reliance is one of the most significant components of the transcendentalism movement that Henry David Thoreau contributed to in his literary career. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” - (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). As evident by this quotation by Thoreau, his motives purely consist of living in the idealistic states of nature rather than that of “civilization”. Thoreau also stated, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…”- (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). Thoreau, in this statement shows that he is completely self reliant in the sense that he alone went out to nature to reap what he could and survive by his merits alone, sustaining himself only on what nature had to offer. While conversely McCandless could only survive with a
Thoreau explains that the state and societies prison “never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength” and furthermore that he “was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion” (1990). Therefore, Resistance to Civil Government is validating that prison is confinement and conformity, however, Thoreau will not be conforming to any such conformist state and neither should the reader. Thoreau finally reinforces that he is “not responsible for the successful working of the machinery of society” and that “if a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so man” (1990), Thoreau is explicating that society needs to be responsible for its self and become self-reliant, just as an individual should be, because it is the nature of the world and society and if it cannot live as such then it will not continue to
Risks are a possibility of loss or injury; all humans at least once in their lifetime have to do something risky. If life has no risks, you’re not really living it, since we humans do not grow as a species (or society) if there is no challenge in life. People in this world must have challenge and struggle to overcome an obstacle in their life to discover the real world. This way a person will grow physically and most importantly, mentally, to never do something adventurous or take the easy way out is on them. Krakauer, Emerson and Thoreau all have their own ideas on risk, but they all have in common is that risk can change a person for the good or bad.
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that protests culture and society. Toward the end of Chris McCandless’s life he started to show many signs of a transcendentalist. Unlike Thoreau Chris was not in it for his love of nature, but to free himself from a corrupt world and a bitter society. "So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future." (Krakauer p. 57)
“Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; but only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay” Robert Frost. The words of many authors, poets, and songwriters can influence certain aspects of a person’s life. One may simply admire the work because of the inspiration or beauty behind the piece, but others take the words to heart and live their lives by it. A fan of many transcendentalism authors Chris McCandless wanted to live his life with the same simplicity they did. After finding the inspiration in the works of Jack London and Henry David Thoreau McCandless ventured out into a two-year-long journey to find happiness in the Alaskan Wilderness. McCandless had the bravery to follow his own dream and was willing to risk his life for true happiness. McCandless is admirable because of his generosity, positivity, and courage to follow his own dream.
Values are a set of principles that define a person at the essence and reflect what they hold to be truly important. They act as like a compass, providing a sense of correctness when on the right track, or internal nudge to correct one's path when drifting off course. In Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Henry David Thoreau is a unique character who strives to live a life in alignment with his values, even if it means going to extreme lengths. The belief that spiritual welfare is of greater importance over financial prosperity and the emphasis on the power of the individual are two out of seven Transcendental values that have the greatest influence on Henry David Thoreau’s actions. Throughout the play, the
Thoreau looks around him and finds himself to be displeased. To quote Thoreau, “ I went to the