Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 born and raised in Concord, was a popular student in Harvard. Despite his financial and health deformities he was able to graduate from the university. By 1837 America was facing an economic depression and jobs were not easily available. Thoreau began to write poems and essays of transcendentalism to escape from the development and also to emphasize on nature. Therefore, he spent two years in Walden Pond (Schneider, 2013).
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.
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.
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.
Furthermore, his use of tone to exemplify his argument is also effective as he condemns people for living rushed, unfulfilled lives for the sake of prosperity and materialistic possessions. When Thoreau says that ”when we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality,”(279) he employs a critical tone by stating that people are blinded by these petty things that misconstrue
Transcendentalist writers were focused on the belief of the divinity of the individual soul, the inner voice, (Crawford, Kern & Needleman, 1961) to overcome social stereotypes and to avoid conformity. It is highlighted the importance to return to nature to enhance the quality of humans beings by living simply since being apart of common social rules is the only way to be in communion with nature’s wisdom. Those transcendental characteristics could be seen in Emerson’s ¨self-reliance¨ or Thoreau’s ¨Walden ¨ bearing in mind that although, Emerson’s ¨Self-reliance¨ adheres more descriptive examples to illustrate metaphors and Thoreau’s ¨Where I lived and what I lived for¨ introduces metaphors creating much more imagery, both make a critique of the modern individual using
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” (“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”). Thoreau lived his whole life trying to figure out what really matters to humanity. His personality was quite different than others. He was into individualism and he separated himself from society to live on his own and focus on becoming self-reliant. Thoreau’s seperation from society resulted in him being seperated from society and not needing anyone's help.
Henry David Thoreau especially supported the interaction between man and nature. With his experiment at Walden, he addresses a modern concept known as minimalism, focusing on the way one must supply for himself with his basic necessities. His intentions were not to isolate himself, but moreso to separate himself from a life dependent upon others. Through his actions, he is able to criticise society and many of their needs.
The bold and brash approach on life by transcendentalists was truly an ambitious lifestyle. Such individuals like Henry David Thoreau, Chris McCandless, and Jon Krakauer have renounced all of their mainstream agendas to lead a more fundamental life, but not without the criticism other have faced. The actions portrayed in their novels demonstrate how important it is to incorporate others’ ideas when one’s own choices. As the world was in the midst of transforming, Henry David Thoreau yearned to yield away from the evolving world, as he considered them corrupt opportunists who are deprived of their true nature.
He wrote about how technology and new lifestyles were continuously replacing what nature had established. He pointed out how nature was the window for people to find their own identity, which was fogged by the changes in society the industrial revolution had caused. Then, he continued to elaborate on how pure nature truly was by stating that all living things survive and live because of nature. Thoreau believes that society had lost itself in the tangles of its discoveries, and points to the solution of going back to
During the Transcendentalist movement, Henry David Thoreau was a leading transcendentalist whose work focused mainly on nature and adventure. Walden, or Life in the Woods is an exceptional example of a story based on adventure. In Thoreau’s account of his life at Walden pond, he first states, “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.” Through this quote Thoreau explains that he was tired of the complexity of normal life and desired to go on an adventure to live simply. Additionally, Thoreau states, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…,” which again reveals his motivation for new life by adventure and simplicity. Finally, as Thoreau concludes his account he states, “I left the woods
Transcendentalist Era 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.
Transcendentalism is not a word that can be defined. It is a concept brought about by various writers to include Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. The world has dramatically changed since their time period, making it an interesting topic to debate upon what they would think of today’s society. Their opinions on whether they supported current culture would definitely vary, depending on the topic at hand. Customs such as technology, going to school, and going to Mass weekly would spark strong opinions in the minds of people like Emerson and Thoreau, and their thoughts would gather around transcendentalist ideas and principles.
Henry David Thoreau was a philosopher, poet, and a very outspoken person about society. He discusses his opinions on how people should live in his essay “Where I Lived and What I Lived For.” Thoreau's philosophy of simplicity and individualism and self-sufficiency poses many dangers for communities as a whole. Although there are many setbacks, his philosophy is, however, still viable today. Thoreau strongly advocates self-sufficiency and individualism in this essay.
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.