Margaret Fuller's Transcendentalism Analysis

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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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