Was Chris McCandless a true transcendentalist? Transcendentalism is a system developed by Immanuel Kant, based on the idea that, in order to understand the nature of reality, one must first examine and analyze the reasoning process that governs the nature of experience. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures. In Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild, McCandless is viewed as a transcendentalist.
The song “Brave,” by Sara Bareilles strongly relates to this quote by Emerson. Throughout this song there are many lyrics that go along with the Transcendentalism philosophy. For example, when Sara says, “You can be amazing… you can be the outcast… or you can start speaking up.” This relates back to Transcendentalism because they highly believe in being able to be yourself and not let other people bring you down. By being amazing, you need to speak what you believe and not care what society thinks.
According to Aristotle, an individual can achieve happiness only by realizing all the works and activities in accordance with reason throughout his lifetime. He claimed that happiness consists in cultivating and exercising virtue and it is the ultimate purpose of human existence, as stated in his work Nicomachean Ethics “He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life”. However, such Aristotelian concept of happiness inevitably contradicts the understanding of history as development which maintains that fulfilling the work of human exceeds the limits of an individual and thus can only be achieved in the course of history. Three
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Dr. Seuss Almost every day, I have felt pressure to conform to society’s expectations. This pressure takes on various forms but almost always tries to cover up individuality. There seems to be a mounting pressure to become a different person, who other people believe to be “better.” We find ourselves swayed by the media, and with the pace of our world, don’t seem to have enough time to fully comprehend what we are seeing.
The concept of transcendentalism has been displayed in American literature since the establishment of the notion came about by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the late 1830s. Since the idea’s formation, authors, such as Jon Krakauer, have used their writing to hint at their application of spiritual ideology. In his story, Into the Wild, krakauer uses protagonist, Alex McCandless, to physically represent the embodiment of transcendentalism. The philosophy of transcendentalism is thoroughly apparent in Christopher McCandless’s personal philosophy because of his non-conformity to societal standards of living and his strategies of self-reliance. To begin, McCandless’s refusal to conform to society’s ‘’norms” connects to Emerson’s idea of not conforming to normal civilization.
Transcendentalism was an era of Philosophical and religious and literary movement in the nineteenth century in England. The transcendentalism theme was started back in the nineteenth century an still carrys into todays every day life in books,songs and movies. One of the transcendentalist themes that they focused on was individuality. This theme focuses on being yourself and being confident in yourself. Some of the people still using the this transcendentalism theme are Caskey with the song “Tats on my neck”,”Mr.misunderstood” by Eric church and the movie Simon burch.
Defining philosophy is an open-ended question; however, we as humans can only attempt to perceive its meaning and unlock perceived views of the meaning of life. This paper is a perspective of philosophy through the affiliation of happiness. The Buddha defines philosophy as "a way of thinking about the world, or a way of leading a more ethical life? Or is it a kind of psychotherapy - a way of helping us come terms with ourselves and with dilemmas that life constantly throws at us?
Albert Einstein once stated, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” I remember that quote from Jeopardy, but I never actually thought of anything of it. The category was transcendentalism and I remembered that pretty clearly because Alex Trebek was complaining about how long the word was to fit in the box. So when transcendentalism was introduced in our class, I felt a familiar wave of nostalgia hit me. I was pretty excited to start my essay, but I didn’t have time on the weekdays, so I decided to work on it during the weekend.
Ever since its creation, the United States of America has given people the opportunity to speak and practice their own philosophies and religion. As a prime example, transcendentalism is a philosophical and literary movement that gained followers during 1836-1860 that encouraged social reform, self-transformation, and people to rise above their immediate experiences. Developed by Ralph Waldo Emerson and lived by Henry David Thoreau, the essence of transcendentalism was to live life with simplicity and to elevate intuition and imagination over logical reasoning. However in today’s society, true transcendentalism is irrelevant and cannot be practiced.
Followed by the developing world and increasing pressures from families and societies, people had been lost. The sisyphean life creates a suffocating feeling to people. Due to the pressure, people started thinking about that seeking happiness could relief them from these torments. However, in the book Escape From Freedom, it states that “Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want.” Every person is the separate entity, therefore there will be the different measurement of happiness, which caused a majority of people always apply external materials to satisfy themselves.
The transcendentalists thought that individuality and self-reliance was true. For example Emerson says in his essay from self-reliance to “speak your latent conviction and it shall be the universal sense”. This means that you need to stop holding what you are holding back from saying and just say what you want to say. Theses song help represent that.
Transcendentalists believed nature is a source of truth and inspiration. They are people who go beyond who go beyond the reasoning of something. For example Thoreau and Emerson were transcendentalist who had these same beliefs. It is important to be an independent thinker because it teaches you not to be like other people and to be your own unique person. “I am a transparent eyeball, I am nothing; it’s all the currents of the universal being circulate through me; I am a particle of god”- Emerson.
After analyzing the humanities through the history of America from pre-history to Reconstruction, it becomes evident that Americans identified themselves as purely unique individuals with unlimited potential; however, this idea slowly become more constricted to a certain group of people as new philosophies emerged and as more people immigrated to the United States. The revolutionary Exploration era delved into the unfamiliar and the strange, as European explorers crossed the Atlantic in search for new resources and land. During this time period, few European art portrayed the fruits of these explorations, and any recorded sketches were used for informational purposes. One such example was Cannibal Scene with the Tupi Indians by Hans Staden.
There are many different transcendentalist characteristics. Some of the characteristics would be self reliance. In civil disobedience people are relying on themselves. People need to be more self reliant. There are to many people in the world who rely on others.