Henry David Thoreau is known as one of the most relevant transcendentalist authors in America, not only thanks to his work as an author but also his ideology and activism as a normal individual. His transcendentalist way of both thinking and living was not only influenced by the fact that he lived in Concord, the cradle of transcendentalism in the US, but also by being in close touch with other great transcendentalists such as Bronson Alcott or Ralph Waldo Emerson. The latter one was probably the most influential on Thoreau’s development as a true transcendentalist, since Thoreau actually put into practice Emerson’s thought that in order to get to know who oneself truly is, you have to focus on Nature and devote yourself to it; and he captured his experience in the wonderfully descriptive and spiritual book Walden.
The ideals and structures of the society we live in today clearly contrast with the core ideals of Henry David Thoreau. We rely on seemingly everything but ourselves for information, and we have trampled upon the nature that was so valued by Thoreau. Our rapid technological advancements have improved our lives in countless ways, but many elements of our digital technology would surely garner shame from a dedicated transcendentalist like Thoreau. Furthermore, the citizens of America have allowed for an elected government that Thoreau would believe has grown too powerful and possesses excessive influence over our lives. If Thoreau lived in today’s society, he would be aghast at the abuse of the environment due to industrialization,
The theme of the essay “Self Reliance” written by Emerson is for beings to not focus on those of others or subside his/her values to fit in with our society, for true geniuses comes from within and are made with their own heart and mind. His idea of self-reliance differs from that of the norm in that he doesn’t encourage those to mix into selfish ways but to be open and proud of their own individuality for that is the true key to life itself. Emerson’s idea is similar to the common use in that he encourages those to not depend on others to define his/her identity.
Mohandas Gandhi was a “key figure in the Indian struggle for independence.” He worked to use nonviolent ways to fight for equality and change in India. Gandhi was able to unite many groups and “inspired the common people of India to work for change.” In addition, Gandhi advocated using a more traditional approach (Wadley 202). Although Mohandas Gandhi 's satyagraha campaign caused violence, his advocacy for those who were discriminated against in Indian society led to the initial unification of India to gain independence from Great Britain. Gandhi’s attempt to peacefully fight for independence still left a considerable amount of violence during protests. Gandhi advocated for oppressed or mistreated groups, such as untouchables, women, and those
Henry David Thoreau was an extremely influential writer of his time. He helped inspire the American transcendental movement as well as urge a nonconformist attitude to many Americans. This nonconformist idea is what left him in the woods at Walden Pond for two years while he tried to embody Emerson's idea of self-reliance. Throughout history, he continued to be an influence especially when it came to the fight for change and for revolution in fighting. His essay, Civil Disobedience, embodied a non violent resistance as the way to fight, In later years, several incredible people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior used these ideas to encourage their successful nonviolent movements. In Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau, he uses diction, imagery, and emotional appeal to get his message of nonviolence across.
In modern society it is important to be unique and have originality in order to be an individual. Emerson says that if we copy another person's work we are not reflecting on ourselves but just the experiences of another person. He teaches us that we should be unique, think for ourselves, be independent, and to be proud of ourselves. Also that if people are not original then they will just be repeating another person’s legacy and they will just be in their shadow and will not be ahead of them. There are many things in modern culture that is not original and are just copies of something from the old. In modern society there are many dangers conforming to society because it would stifle people's originality, causes imitation,
American currencies, specifically coins, have two sides: a head and a tail. The head and tail are different, yet they are still part of the same coin. Two American authors, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, represent two sides of the same coin: Transcendentalism. Transcendentalism swept through America as a new worldview in the 1900’s. Transcendentalism is a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual and transcendental over the material, that deals with aspects of nature. Men committed their lives to the study of nature. Nature became a religion. Emerson, a transcendental optimist, claimed that each person is inherently good. Hawthorne, a transcendental pessimist, demanded that man was corrupt and inherently evil. Emerson
Transcendentalists were a movement of this time that had both its ups and downs. In other words failure and successes. When it comes to reform movements the things most people really care about is the success of it and if it made any real change to people during the time period. Transcendentalism had an effect on people of the time that really started something completely unheard of and misunderstood. What transcendentalists did was take what was known and look far beyond it. Through literature, speeches, and even teaches that took place in classrooms of the time, people were fascinated and curious about what they were spreading and practicing. It was a quite successful movement until more and more time passed and people realized it wasn’t
Transcendentalism is the belief that man is inherently good, is an independent thinker, and goes out into nature to get in touch with himself. Generally, man has good intentions and intends no harm unto others. In addition, man does not need society to give him and develop his thoughts, as he already has them within. To help bring out these already installed beliefs, man has the desire to go out into nature to get in touch with himself and find deeper notions within. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings “Self Reliance” and “American Scholar”, he writes about how being a true individual means that one must have his own beliefs, and not copy someone else’s ideas. In addition, he believes that society is the antagonist, actively working against individuals.
In summary, Gandhi’s Message to All Men is about Gandhi’s beliefs and wisdom from his experience with civil disobedience. Gandhi is well known for his act of civil disobedience against the British government. The article goes into how Gandhi used love and non-violence in order to rebel and spread his message.
In the 1830’s, a group called the transcendentalist arose. It lasted from 1836 to just about 1861. Some people were upset about how the Unitarian church was running things so instead people turned to nature. Basically they believed that any individual was more powerful than any institution. When they created this transcendentalist club they also created rules to go with it. Their rules were basically their beliefs. They believed in an individual’s inner soul leads to the truth. Individual relationships with God was much bigger than anything you could get in a church. Nature played a huge roll in their beliefs. They found the goodness of nature everywhere. To them, all we needed to survive was our mind. The mind is where they
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is a dissertation written by American abolitionist, author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau published by Elizabeth Peabody in the Aesthetic Papers in 1849. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was born and lived almost his life in Concord, Massachusetts. After finishing public and private school in Concord he attended the prestige Harvard University. He excelled at Harvard despite leaving school for several months due to health and financial setbacks. Mr. Thoreau graduated in the top half of his class in 1837. Mr. Thoreau argues that people should not allow any government to control or atrophy their thoughts or beliefs. Mr. Thoreau was an also remained a devoted abolitionist and has written
Mohandas Gandhi is one of the greatest nonviolent activists ever. Gandhi came up with the word ahimsa, which meant nonviolence. He also introduced to the world the word satyagraha, which meant peaceful civil disobedience. In 1930 Gandhi and a group of followers began a march of more than 200 miles. Three and a half weeks later they made it to their destination, the sea. At the sea, Gandhi picked up a handful of salt. This act went against the British law mandating that they buy salt from their government and this law did not allow them to collect their own salt. That act was made to let the British government know that the Indian people were tired of being under Britain’s rule and they were tired of following all of the unjust laws that were
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once said, “Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” What Gandhi is saying is that nonviolence is a stronger force than using destructive tools like guns or explosives. He is saying you can achieve your goals without the need to use violence like harming innocent people or causing chaos and havoc. Historical figures like Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela used non-violence civil disobedience Although non-violent civil disobedience is the best way to bring change to an unjust system, it is not always successful.
One of the greatest leaders that greatly impacted society and still influences culture today is Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was an advocate for peaceful resistance, he believed in standing up against injustices with peace. On the contrary, there is another great author who impacted society with his literature, and his name is Henry David Thoreau. Henry Thoreau believed in a much different manner of resisting in society. He believed in nonconforming and breaking the law. His literature greatly impacted how society views nonconformity today. Gandhi and Thoreau have many similarities and differences about the way things in society should run, and how the government should govern.