Margret Fuller’s Transcendentalism: Self-Reliance in Marriage? Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher and the founder of Transcendentalist club, proposes self-reliance in a series of his publications and lectures. According to him, self-reliance is a concept stresses on individuality, non-conformity and independent spiritual development of souls. Such concept, which entails a breakaway from society, seems unfit for any level of social institution at his time. However, his female colleague Margret Fuller thinks otherwise in her work Women In the Nineteenth Century. As a women’s rights activist, she questions the universality of Emerson’s self-reliance by pointing out the gender bias in his languages and states that women are also capable of self-reliance. In addition, she also explores the possibility of self-reliance in political and social realm—more specifically, the possibility of self-reliance in the institution of marriage. However, she still …show more content…
She writes, “the only efficient remedy must come from individual character…Could clear away all the bad forms of society, it is vain, unless the individual began to be ready for better. There must be a parallel movement in these two branches of life” (Fuller 45). That is, Fuller believes that after a bilateral self-development of both sexes, the progressive woman and man will be ready to challenge the existing bad institutions. As she further puts it, “we must have units before we can have union” (Fuller 60). Such point of view seems very ideological. It conveys the message that the common goal of a society will eventually be achieved if every one of us in the society adheres to a certain standard. But the fact is, not everyone will submit himself/herself to a communal cause. And it is apparent that Fuller’s ideological mindset somewhat inherits
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Transcendentalism is the idea of striving to live a life of independence, simplicity, and coherence with nature. An element of transcendentalism is having the euphoria of one life over society. A modern example of a song that supports transcendentalism is “Try” by Colbie Caillat. Transcendentalism is when someone does not meet society’s expectations and they are their own individuals. This song relates to transcendentalism because the singer, Colbie Caillat is singing about how women do not have to change so much to meet society standards of beauty.
Dylan Farr Mrs. Russ 12-14-22 Into The Wild Transcendentalism Essay The story of Chris McCandless, a nomadic traveler, was a charismatic tragedy because of the way he polarized the world with his tale. He grew up with a family that he couldn’t wait to get out of and get away from, and when he did he started his journey throughout the United States. He traveled from coast to coast, making an indent in the minds of anyone who met him.
Similarly, Equality revolutionizes his sphere of philosophy. As he broadens his once narrow scope of the world and allows his imagination to wander, he realizes that the brotherhood is not as divine as it is praised to be. While devising the birth of his new society, he figures that because of the “worship [of the word “We”], the structure of centuries collapsed...whose every beam had come from the thought of some one man… [who] existed but for [his] own sake” (Rand 102). It is due to the endurance of collectivism that success is impeded and the “beams” that are supposed to support the monument of society instead “collaps[e]” under their own cause.
In the 19th and 20th century transcendentalism was a new and exciting topic that caused tremendous controversy. In the novel Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless was a man with a very unique character. In more detailed words Chris McCandless was a transcendentalist. His actions and moods played a big part in his life, from beginning to end. He was a transcendentalist because of his self-reliance, confidence and non-conformity.
The ultimate goal of this movement is for the social equality of women, so they can be free to be themselves. Sanger makes this obvious when she writes, “when we voice then the necessity of setting the feminine spirit utterly and absolutely free, thought turns naturally not to the rights of the woman, nor indeed of the mother, but to the rights of child” Sanger emphasizes the importance in allowing women the freedom to express themselves by acknowledging that once women are considered equals to men, society can focus on children and humanity itself. Stanton shares this sentiment when she writes, “When marriage results from a true union of intellect and spirit…then will marriage and paternity acquire a new sacredness and dignity and a nobler type of manhood and woman hood will glorify the race!!” (Doc 98) Stanton gives us insight on the ultimate vision shared by her and women’s rights activists, where society thrives and humanity is glorified because women are no longer degraded or considered secondary. Although this idealist image sounds exception, how we live today is yet to look anything like the world envisioned by these women.
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.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher who helped lead the transcendental movement, said in his essay Self Reliance, ““...the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plate, and Milton is, that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men but what they thought.” This quote embodies transcendentalism and describes the necessity to be your own person. Chris McCandless is an independent man whose ideology is based off of transcendentalism, but he takes it to an extreme degree to which he believes in. Most people who are tired of society would not take off and live in the wild, but Chris believed in his ideas and stuck to his gut. Another famous transcendentalist is Henry David Thoreau.
People such as John Stuart Mill were passionate advocates for women’s rights. In document 1, Mill begins by saying that traditionally, the vocation of a woman is the place of a wife and mother. He believes that one is supposed to consider of women in that way, but in truth, he recognizes that by denying women the same opportunities as men, the world is denied of the talents of women. He wrote The Subjection of Women with the help of his wife. Though he was already an advocate for fairness, his wife educated him on the real-world consequences of women’s legal submission.
“A world where no man will hold desire for himself, but will direct his efforts to satisfy the desires of his neighbor who’ll have no desires but to satisfy the desires of the next neighbor who’ll have no desires - and so on…”(The Soul of a Collectivist) The speech focuses on how one snuffs out the individual desires of man and makes him work for the collective body of he and his neighbors. To form a collectivist society personal desire must seem as though it is a selfish sin, nobody can be great because “Great men can’t be ruled”(The Soul of a Collectivist), and singular thought can not be
In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self Reliance, he passionately expresses his views on individualism. Emerson’s views on individuality are views of following oneself’s own thoughts and passions, rather than fearing men and following the world. The speaker is successful in getting his point across with the use of allusions, anaphora, and thought triggering metaphors. As discussed previously, Emerson employs strong allusions of well known people to get his claim across, which is how important individuality is.
The Society of Anthem has many rules and ideals that the people have to follow, but this community is only loosely connected to the society residing today. In their society the main goal is for every person to be one “We strive to be like all our brother men, for all men must be alike”(pg.19). While in the society today the main goal is to strive to be different and to be oneself. Fountain head’s “The Soul of a Collectivist” thinks that if you “ Kill the individual. Kill man’s soul.
Margaret Fuller fights for equality in her essay The Great Lawsuit. She discusses the idea that women are equal in every way to men and deserve the rights that men get just by being born male. Fuller’s argument shares a lot of similarities with Emerson’s idea of self-reliance. She discusses the idea of one universal order, and the notion of leaving the past in the past so as to move forward, although Fuller does share some ideas with Emerson, her essay held a different meaning of self-reliance for women than it did for men. Margaret Fuller adopts Emerson’s idea of one universal order, and claims that “if the woman apparelled in flesh, to one master only are they accountable.
Also the author as able to strengthen her argument by adding supporting views from authorities (Jean Baker Miller), which emphasized how women tend to avoid the appearance of power as she never take credit for her achievements and usually blames it on being lucky. At the end of the essay the author advocates several strategies women should pursue in order to get tough such as “taking credit when credit is due” (Par.10), because taking credit when it is deserved is a sign of confidence and determination, also she explains how women should express their anger in different
Reflection By studying American Romanticism, we are able to learn that American literature allows its readers to understand transcendentalist views which led to individuals in American society to realize that everyone perceives the world differently. In American literature, individuals are able to understand the values of transcendentalism in which it illustrates the importance of nature, self reliance, and individuality through essays such as “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays “Nature” and “Self-Reliance”. In Henry David Thoreau’s essay “Walden” he says “ life never the bone where it is sweetest.” This quote suggests the importance of individuality due to the fact that we do not need to change to make others satisfied because we are only truly happy when we are able to accept ourselves. The best part in this unit was to look at an image and listen to the different