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.
By repeating and capitalizing Nature multiple times throughout “Self-Reliance”. Emerson using this capitalization shows how strongly he feels that the most important idea is that the ultimate wrong towards being self-reliant is going against your Nature but also makes the audience look at Nature as a person and not just an element. Emerson’s transcendentalist ideals show his belief that God speaks to people through Nature. By connecting to this belief it appeals to the religious people of that time. Emerson uses Nature in all of his surroundings and especially in young, innocent children to connect innocent things to his beliefs to persuade readers.
From these readings I have found that John Muir and Henry David Thoreau have many of the same notions about nature and the American frontier. Both viewed nature as a defined space, completely separated from civil society, a place in which “a man can be a man.” For Muir it seemed that nature was very much a sacred space and loved to idealize nature as a sort of heaven on earth. I think one of the biggest things I realized through these readings is that Muir and Thoreau both emphasized the difference, physically and mentally, between nature and urbanization. It is this idea that Americans now live on, I believe that people now think of nature and urban areas as entirely separate entities and in doing so, make nature into a sort of place to visit but never stay.
He personifies nature: “Nature says-he is my creature, and maugre all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me.” (Emerson 91) This connects humanity with nature as if we exist as equal, as if we are dependent on each other.
Hobbes famously described non-political society, or as it has also been come to known, the State of Nature as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes, 1651: 1.13). To understand this it is important to grasp the nature of man in the State of Nature. A concept central to the comprehension of this is the equality of all men; despite having different strengths, men are equal, meaning no man has superiority over another. Man’s dominant passion is described as being self-preservation, all man’s wants, and desires lead back to their want to preserve their lives. Hobbes saw this not only as a passion but a right, all men are born with the natural right to do what they need in order to preserve their own life which Hobbes calls ‘the right of nature’.
In Self Reliance, Emerson writes “It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs,” explaining that through his eyes, society cares not about an individual’s ego and prosperity but instead the individual himself. Society is focused on names and customs alike as they are all unique to each person. The similarities are evident in Thoreau’s Walden as well. Thoreau views liberty as all animals roaming the forest and while all the animals are different, they are all treated the same in the eyes of nature. Ideals of liberty are closely compared between the two authors - their common viewpoint on the matter is that you are your own individual and you are free to do whatever you would like as society/natures view of you will never change.
Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Discourse on Inequality and Social Contract each attempt to explain the rise of and prescribe the proper management of human society. At the foundation of both philosophies is the principle that humans are asocial by nature, a precept each philosopher interprets and approaches in a different way. Hobbes states that nature made humans relatively “equal,” and that “every man is enemy to every man.” Life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” he says, and “every man has right to everything.” Rousseau outlines primitive asocial man having “everything necessary for him to live in the state of nature” from “instinct alone,” and being “neither good nor evil.”
Leviathan State of nature make men so equal without the government. Hobbes strongly argued that the social unity and having peace inside the civilians are the best achievement by men as he explained in his book, Leviathan. In chapter thirteen of his book, Hobbes created the best original and important about the men with their nature and living in a state of nature. Also, this kind of life drives men to behave well in their societies and to be strong or having more power than others. In general, I will explain the state of nature and chapter thirteen of Hobbes book, and it is the explanation about how the state of nature can be a state of the war, men’s experience in the state of nature, and the examples of the state of the nature in 17 century.
However, society does not see the good in him, they only see the outside and react to his misleading appearance. While the persona of the creature is looked at as the “monster” in Frankenstein, the character’s personality, psychology, and nature well define him as a human being that deserves compassion and love as opposed to the hatred and fear that society provides. To begin with the creature’s nature, from birth to his banishment from civilization, he has possessed the same manner in which humanity has in individuality. The creature’s nature generally remains the same throughout the novel up to the most rational state in the end. The very instance where the creature shows his good nature is during the
In conclusion, Bradbury is showing that there is a natural human instinct, even in a society brain washed by technology, to preserve knowledge or to be knowledgeable of nature, literature, and the past. Bradbury uses Guy Montag, a character with severe mind/body disconnect, to communicate this idea. Bradbury shows that the people living in the dystopia that is Fahrenheit 451 are illiterate and empty through Montag’s mind body disconnect. The author also conveys that hope always has a place in society despite what technology tells Montag through the involvement of human instinct to be literate and knowledgeable, and through the descriptions of Montag’s hands. Towards the end of the book, Bradbury communicates the idea that knowledge of nature
Georgiana’s birthmark represents her grasp on humanity as shown in its shape as a hand. The hand symbolizes humanity’s role in nature and the continuous struggle between nature and science. Georgiana is someone who Aylmer sees as created “nearly perfect from the hand of Nature” (Hawthorne 1). Her birthmark is an imprint left by nature and is representative of humanity’s ties to it. Altering nature isn’t something that humans should be able to do because it is more powerful than any creation made by man.
Frederick Douglass was a good person during his lifetime for all the good things that he had done to help the world in a lot of places while he had been a slave which is very great due to the fact that he had very little to help him throughout his journey of helping the world. In my opinion I think that the greatest thing that Frederick Douglass had done was help to stop slavery. Another thing that I am very surprised of what he had done was learn how to read. This is very shocking to me that he had learned how to read because he barely had any resources to help him but he still did not give up, in fact Douglass had actually kept on pushing forward on learning how to read and he had used every resource that he could find because he knew that in order to help himself be successful in freeing the slaves and to do a lot more that would help the world. Something that I find sad about Frederick Douglass’s life is that he did not have parents to help him with all of the great things that he had done due to the fact that he lost his mother when she had tried to run away and save him while his father was a white man who had forced Douglass’s mother into making children to
Finally, Douglass ends with addressing concessions and providing well reasoned rebuttals that progressively support his central claim that the conscience of the country should be roused to protect the rights of slaves as men. Facing inquiries like the abolitionists should “argue more and denounce less,” Douglass analyzes why his claim is not arguable layer upon layer. First, salves are men who are entitled to liberty and should not be seen or treated as brutes. Furthermore, slaves do the same jobs, live in the same way and believe the same religion as all other American citizens do. Finally, slavery is inhuman and therefore should not be divine.
Because of the statuses of each person who attends Douglass’ school, they have a common ground to discuss with each other. Although Douglass is not technically a slave like most of the others learning from him, he still is in the lowest social tier and African American. Because of their corresponding similarities, the slaves and Douglass bond over their hardships while understanding what the others are going through. It is easy to sympathize with each other because they are in the same situation. During the time period this was written, society purposely made African American slaves feel like they didn’t belong and like they were outcasts.