Examples Of Transcendentalism In Walden

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Transcendentalism is a controversial movement that was a protest to intellectualism and spirituality at the time. These ideals were outlined in David Thoreau 's Walden, which described his journey living in the forest, and what he learned from it. He believed that people should remove themselves from society to further their “journey” to become a better person, and not be so reliant on society. Despite his interesting topic, the message that he is trying to convey is dangerous. I do not believe his message is realistic, as he preaches about living off the land, and advises to not buy anything you don’t need or can’t make yourself, which would ruin society due to making it less reliant on each other. This would remove the need to communicate…show more content…
The idea of civil disobedience is to make yourself more “free” by purposely disobeying the government, who Thoreau believes, “is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it,” (Thoreau, On the duty of civil disobedience 3). From this quote, we can see Thoreau believes by doing these acts of disobedience the individual will become one with itself, and be able to break free of society’s grip. However, Thoreau fails to grasp the benefits of being a part of a society, which include receiving aid from the government if you are struggling, having low cost healthcare, and being active with others. These things can be essential to life. As in a transcendental utopian society, there is no way to seek out medical help, as you are out by yourself, with whatever you need as a necessity. This is not only dangerous, but can also be fatal, as if you injure yourself badly when alone and do not seek proper medical help, you can die easily. Also, an extreme isolation from any human can be dangerous. As Donald Hebb stated, “that merely taking away the usual sights, sounds, and bodily contacts from a healthy university student for a few days can shake him, right down to the base,” (Hebb, American Psychologist). This came after a controversial study by McGill University, where they separated University students from the outside world, by putting them in soundproof rooms for as long as they could stand it. From the quote, we can see that the students could not stand being deprived from the usual sounds and human interaction that come with everyday life. This shows us that being a Transcendentalist and living by yourself for years on end would not be kind to the mental mind. The separation would cause major mental trauma that could lead to insanity. It is obvious that the ideals
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