Henry David Thoreau is one of the most influential, and most brilliant people to ever walk on the face of the earth. He embodies the transcendentalist ideas that many of the most famous writers in the world share. Transcendentalism is the philosophy of looking at every person as an individual and how important and divine each soul truly is. The way that the world in the middle 1800’s, the time in which Thoreau was in his prime for writing, was that a person learned from his encounters and how that individual reacted to it. Transcendentalists believed in the spirituality of the world in order learn new things: “They rejected the widely accepted notion that man’s knowledge came primarily through the senses. To the contrary, they believed in
Thoreau was a transcendentalist thus possessing the beliefs of transcendentalism. He wanted to maintain a spiritual life connected to nature. He believed an individual could find the divine directly through a connection to nature and a man must become a part of nature to truly find the divine. His ideology was derived from the transcendentalism movement created by Thoreau
Since Thoreau's graduation from Harvard, he had become a protégé of his famous neighbor and an informal student of Emerson's Transcendental ideas. Transcendentalism was an American version of Romantic Idealism, a dualistic Neoplatonic view of the world divided into the material and the spiritual. For Emerson, "Mind is the only reality, of which all other natures are better or worse reflectors. Nature, literature, history, are only subjective phenomena." For the Transcendentalist, the secret of successful living was to hold oneself above material concerns as much as possible and focus on the spiritual. Thoreau must have imbibed Transcendentalism through almost every pore during his two years living with Emerson, though he would modify it to suit his own temperament by granting nature more reality than Emerson
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,
By being in contact with the nature there is an ethereal feeling of knowing everything. The air you breathe is the purest of all; the sights you see are the goodness and freshness of the universe. In that moment the whole universe transpires to make that moment yours and you seem to move into a transcended stage of utter joy and serenity. Thoreau held deeply felt political views, opposing slavery and the Mexican-American War. He made a strong case for acting on one's individual conscience and not blindly following laws and government policy. "The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right," he wrote (Thoreau,1854). The timely and inaccurate injustice of society led Thoreau to a new height of revolution and it spooked the immeasurable feeling of human justice we human possess. An average person living about his daily life in the society is somewhat barred from taking those brave acts as he becomes a part of the system. He is morally and subjectively bound to serve the system without raising any voice of slavery or injustice. While Thoreau did what most would have wanted to do, he raised his voice through his work and his most famous tool, his writings. Being in contact with the nature brought out the most of him and it is assured anyone will be guaranteed that feat once they realize the power it
Nature has the ability to lead one to an improved comprehension of life. That is the point that Ralph Waldo Emerson, famous American essayist, wanted to convey to his readers in his long essay, Nature. In the essay, Emerson is saying that each and every person needs to broaden their own unique grasping of the universe that surrounds them. He is expressing this because he believes that people take nature for granted and do not really understand its purpose and impact. The author is stating all of this with a persuasive tone. Emerson wants to coax us to think about nature as more than just eye candy. He wants us to presume that nature has the power to affect and better us. For an author to be successful in his writing, he needs to genuinely make
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
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.
Henry David Thoreau is one of the primary promoters of the transcendentalist movement and has been inspiring people to take on the transcendentalist lifestyle ever since the mid 1800’s. Mccandless was an admirer of Henry’s philosophy but he wasn’t as fully immersed in his work and ideals as Thoreau was to his own. His intentions were not as closely aligned to the movement as Thoreau’s and the difference between these icons are clearly visible.
One of the main ideas for Transcendentalism is “Self-Reliance” a step by step writing by Ralph Emerson. Emerson explains having trust and confidence in yourself, he explains controlling your emotions and speaking your voice. He also describes society and how the problems that occurred decades ago still occur now. He says it best in this quote from “Self-Reliance”, “Society is a wave. The wave moves onward, but the water of which it is composed does not.” (Emerson). This quote describes how societies thoughts and emotions have stayed the same although many years have passed. Emerson also wrote about change. He believed that if one wanted to change they could, all they had to do was change their thoughts, attitude, and perspective. Emerson wrote, “If we live truly, we
Transcendentalism, a philosophical and social movement, demonstrated how divinity spreads through all nature and humanity. One of the main ideals of transcendentalism, living simply and independently, define as the principle. In matters of financial and interpersonal relations, independence projects as more valuable than neediness. Henry david Thoreau elaborates on these transcendentalist ideals when he travels into the woods and writes an essay. In his essay Walden, Thoreau affirms the Transcendentalist belief of living simply by emphasizing the thought of living with only the essentials and the importance of self reliance.
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.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”- Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism is an American philosophy that revolves around self-reliance and independence, commonly in nature, a Transcendentalist wants to find the true meaning in life. I believe that Chris McCandless was a Transcendentalist because he was able to leave his whole life behind and take on a minimalist lifestyle while having a strong relationship with god. However, I believe that I am not a Transcendentalist, but simply an adventurer. I had the opportunity to go to Mexico and visit the Yucatan rainforest and this lead me to be able to explore nature and feel the peaceful impact it can have on someone 's life.
Trascendentalism was started way back in the year 1807. Trascendentalism was a movement started as a club of people. They accept ideas of life but not as religious beliefs but as a way of understanding life. One of the people who was a strong believer of transcendentalism was Thoreau. He believed in living simply just like modern days Lenard skynard.
What is a transcendentalist? A transcendentalist is a radical logical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836. Henry Thoreau was a transcendentalist and was also a famous author where he wrote during the transcendentalist time. On the other hand Martin Luther King Jr was a person that fought for everybody to be equal. He had a speech called “I Had A Dream" Whereas Henry Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr are different as Henry Thoreau didn't pay poll taxes and was an author of the 19th century, while Martin Luther King Jr was taking part in the civil right marches and role model in the 20th century, they are also similar as they both spent a day in jail, were transcendentalists, and well educated.