The transcendentalists thought that individuality and self-reliance was true. For example Emerson says in his essay from self-reliance to “speak your latent conviction and it shall be the universal sense”. This means that you need to stop holding what you are holding back from saying and just say what you want to say. Theses song help represent that.
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,
Transcendentalism is present in today’s culture in ways we do not even notice. It is in our music, television, and movies. These parts of today 's culture show free thought, nonconformity, and the role of nature.
Was Chris McCandless a true transcendentalist? Transcendentalism is a system developed by Immanuel Kant, based on the idea that, in order to understand the nature of reality, one must first examine and analyze the reasoning process that governs the nature of experience. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were central figures. In Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild, McCandless is viewed as a transcendentalist. The characteristics of transcendentalism is individual vs society and the connection between human and nature.
The film Into the Wild is based on the life of Chris McCandless, a young man who rejected the consumerist society of America in order to live a more simple life. Through his travels, Chris carried essays by Transcendentalist philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, suggesting that McCandless is impacted by Transcendentalist ideals. Two key tenets of Transcendentalism that clearly influenced McCandless’ choices are the value of simplicity and the importance of self-reliance.
Transcendentalism is one of the most influential fundamentals of man-kind. Transcendentalism is the enjoyment of nature, surpassing yourself to find a greater purpose, and connecting with the Oversoul. In the movie Dead Poet’s Society, one of the professors believed education was meant for teaching people to think for themselves; he believed that if you can’t think for yourself, then you’re not truly living your life, you’re living someone else’s. The man in question was English Professor John Keating. Keating was a true free thinker, he pushed his students to think for themselves. In addition to his progressive nature, Keating did not have an issue defying against authority figures; when he felt he wasn’t able to be his true self, he said what he believed and didn’t let anybody halt or sway him. Lastly, Keating treasured nature and being in the outdoors. Because of his numerous open-minded qualities, it is apparent that Professor Keating, or “Captain” as his students chose to call him, was a tremendously transcendental character.
Emerson says, “But the great man in the midst of a crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude” (Emerson, 247) it is saying to be a great man they have to stand out in the crowd and not conform to society. Because if we just follow society blindly we just all become the same and nobody stands out. This is all true since nobody wants to break a rule so they just follow it and live a normal life. But if we act different we are to be an outcast which is why he adds the line “perfect sweetness the independence of solitude” (Emerson, 247) which is trying to say it is a misunderstanding to be an outcast and we should not fear it. Since we have to stand out in the midst of the crowd we have to do things that aren’t the same as others which is why Emerson says, “There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide” (Emerson, 246) Which is saying that we should not copy others and think for ourselves because if we copy others we should just commit suicide. A clear example of this is from the Twilight zone episode named Number 12 Looks Just Like You. This example is about Marilyn Cuberle that once she turns 19 she has to be conformed into society by looking like the rest but she refuses to be one of them because of how her dad had the transformation and afterwards regret and
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
Christopher McCandless, a 29-year-old dreamer, went on the journey of a lifetime to involve himself with nature and being truly independent. He had lived a life of privilege, made amazing grades in school, and even went to school at Emory College, getting degrees in both history and anthropology. Even though he seemed to have everything good going for him, it’s not the life he wanted. McCandless decides after law school to go deep into the “wild”, with no map, no resources. All he kept was a small journal and camera in which he captured and recorded all of his experiences in, allowing people for the rest of time to read and learn about his journey in his book titled Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. This impulsive decision that McCandless made would soon cost him his life, and most people would see him as being crazy for it. A man named Shaun Callarman, for example, believed that he “ had no Common sense. . . he was just plain crazy.” I disagree with this statement, however, and believe that Christopher had a very transcendentalist view on life,agreeing with most all of the great Henry David Thoreau and his ideals, but just made a few careless mistakes that would have been the difference between life and death.
In Emerson's views, people should “not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”(citation). Based on Emerson’s thoughts, people should not follow the crowd, but instead live their lives and leave their mark on the Earth. Emerson thoughts come from a philosophical movement of the nineteenth century called transcendentalism. Transcendentalism focuses on religious renewal, literary innovation, and social transformation (encyclopedia.com). Because of their belief that God exists in everyone and nature, and that knowledge comes from individual intuition, led to the highlight of individualism, self-reliance, and breaking free from traditions(citation). In the movie the Dead Poets Society, Mr. Keating “[stands] upon his desk to remind [himself] that we must look at life
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.
decisions based on your own beliefs. As expressed in the maxim, the ideals of transcendentalism and
"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.
Ever since its creation, the United States of America has given people the opportunity to speak and practice their own philosophies and religion. As a prime example, transcendentalism is a philosophical and literary movement that gained followers during 1836-1860 that encouraged social reform, self-transformation, and people to rise above their immediate experiences. Developed by Ralph Waldo Emerson and lived by Henry David Thoreau, the essence of transcendentalism was to live life with simplicity and to elevate intuition and imagination over logical reasoning. However in today’s society, true transcendentalism is irrelevant and cannot be practiced.
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because it is unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature” -Henry David Thoreau, Walden. In Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, a biographical account of Chris McCandless’s life, after graduating from college, 22-year-old McCandless decides to cut all ties from his family and hitchhike across America and live as simply as possible. At the age of 24, he dies on the Stampede Trail in Alaska while trying to live in the wilderness and survive on his own. His journey was inspired by many authors, such as Jack London,