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Thoreau And Transcendentalism

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The most influential writers of the 1820’s-30’s such as Thoreau, Whitman, and Emerson were transcendentalists who believed in the strong opposition of an imperfect government and called for a deep connection to nature and to ourselves. These authors’ works are analysed nationwide in high schools and colleges. Evidently, the transcendentalists writers would be appalled by modern society and equally disgusted by how they are being frequently taught in schools. Modern society today is rarely in touch with nature, is obsessed with the lives of others, and is ruled by governments that most would agree are flawed. The hypocrisy of modern society on teaching the transcendentalists, of lecturing on the beliefs of a deep connection to nature and to ourselves and opposition to vile institutions, yet completely…show more content…
Thoreau advocated for a deep observance of nature and one’s self. In Thoreau’s Walden, he states, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”(Thoreau 932). Thoreau expresses his want to rid himself of evil desires and to seek only the truth. This is in sharp contrast to today’s society which seems to be obsessed with dreams of money and fame. Society also often does not seek the truth, but rather seeks what it wants to hear. Thoreau often writes on the need to reject overbearing governments and corporations. In Civil Disobedience, Thoreau states, “That government is best which governs least.” (Thoreau 843). Thoreau displays his view of government as a weak guider of society rather than as a ruler of society. Modern governments are often strong and strict rather than than weak and unimposing; the polar opposite of a Thoreau style government. Henry David Thoreau would despise being taught in today’s society because it is in stark contrast of his ideals of deep observance of nature and self and opposition to
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