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).
Thoreau’s purpose for entering the woods and nature was an ultimately an experiment. Thoreau sets to enter the woods as an experiment how possessions and material prosperity impacts one’s life negatively. Thoreau also moves out to the woods to explore the idea of awakening ones creative mind, as he states “To be awake is to be alive”. Thoreau’s purpose intertwines with notions of God and nature. He uses sacred type vocabulary when describing the woods he lives in to show how divinity is surrounding him through the nature of the land.
Evelyn White continues, “certain if I ventured outside to admire a meadow or to feel cool ripples in a stream, I’d be taunted, attacked, raped, maybe even murdered because of the color of my skin” (White 1063). This perspective, illustrates what she believes would happen, if she were to go “outside”. The consequences would be ugly, and she makes the reader even feel threatened by this. She describes the nature itself as more relaxing and beautiful to look at, but then contradicts it with her feelings of fear and vulnerability to the wilderness. In the text “Nature”, by Raymond Williams, he explains the complexity of nature as a “tension: nature was at once innocent, unprovided, sure, unsure, fruitful, destructive, a pure force and tainted and cursed” (Williams 222).
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.
The writer, Richard Louv, in his argumentative paper, Last Child in the Woods, supports his argument that relates to the separation between people and nature. To support his argument, he uses rhetorical devices in order to motivate the readers to reminisce about their past and how nature applied to it. Louv’s purpose is to manifest the feelings of the reader’s past to connect with his ideals of nature. Louv begins his argumentative essay by including an experiment about changing the colors of butterflies’ wings, which addresses a problem that is apparent in our society. Today’s culture thinks that real nature “isn’t worth looking at” if they can just construct their own imitation of nature.
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.
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
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.
Transcendentalism Essay 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.
(20-21) and refutes that “now even that visual connection is optional” (21-22). His concession and refutation further proves that even though the time spent by most of society may be limited, it is still valuable because of the apparent disengagement of man from nature. Consequently, the separation of man from nature has resulted in the loss or reduction of any connection with nature. The mutual relationship between man and nature has evolved from a contract to a sad reality.
Nature is easily projected onto, as it allows for a sense of peacefulness and escapism. Due to its ability to evoke an emotional reaction from the masses, many writers have glorified it through various methods, including describing its endless beauty and utilizing it as a symbol for spirituality. Along with authors, artists also show great respect and admiration for nature through paintings of grandiose landscapes. These tributes disseminate a fixed interpretation of the natural world, one full of meaning and other worldly connections. In “Against Nature,” Joyce Carol Oates strips away this guise given to the environment and replaces it with a harsher reality.
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.
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.
Thoreau had the ability to isolate himself whenever he wished. He urges us to do the same. Thoreau’s philosophy may seem great, but it poses many threats in jeopardizing communities. For example, it could negatively impact economies.
Many people who go into nature always see it as something beautiful and aesthetic, but they never see the other side to nature. Humankind’s connection with nature isn’t a real one. They always look at the bright side of nature but are blind to the true dark side of nature. JB MacKinnon’s article “False Idyll” (2012), reveals that nature is not just flowers in a field but can also be the survival of the fittest. He backs up his claim by talking about nature through anecdotes and expert’s research.