Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Transcendentalist Movement

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Authors came forth with new ideas during a time of change known as the New England Renaissance, which sparked a different and modern way of thinking. One of the key movements that was brought about by the developing ideas, was the transcendentalist movement. Authors and philosophers of the time started to use intuition, and a spiritual way of looking at things. One of the main figures of American transcendentalism was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph Waldo Emerson is a transcendentalist author.
The new beliefs and concepts that came about developed into the broad era of transcendentalism. The transcendentalist movement took place in the nineteenth century, and emerged primarily as a literary movement.2 As described, “ American transcendentalism is essentially a kind of practice by which the world of facts and the categories of common sense are temporarily exchanged for the world of ideas and the categories of imagination.”1 Authors and thinkers began to dive into their own imaginations and beliefs, rather than to adhere to what was commonly accepted by society. This allowed authors and thinkers to set aside social
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In Emerson’s work “Self Reliance,” he describes, “Man is his own star; and the soul that can render an honest and a perfect man, commands all influence, all fate.”5 Emerson is describing man as unique, and different, there is no perfect man that fits the same mold. Men are all different from each other. Emerson allows the reader to think creatively and imaginatively about the different forms of men. This was a common idea of the transcendentalist movement, as thinkers and authors challenged their readers to question the potential of man. Instead of following a scientific definition of what man should be like, the reader is pushed to think freely. Emerson’s description of man encouraged the free thinking that was popular at the time of the New England
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