Preview
Preview

Thoreau and Transcendentalism Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 771 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Followers of the Transcendentalist movement stressed the religious, philosophical and ideological importance of life. Henry David Thoreau was a staunch supporter of the movement. Thoreau felt that a person lived a good life by following his conscience and instincts. He also felt that materialism was a sure way to distract a person from leading a good and moral life. Thoreau proposed for the government to be involved in as little of a citizen's life as possible; he felt too much government control just complicated a person's life. Like most Transcendentalists, Thoreau believed there was a direct connection to God through nature. If a person appreciated nature he would gain a higher understanding of God. Finally, Thoreau encouraged individuality versus conformity to the status quo.

Thoreau challenged his readers to experience nature first hand; he felt to truly experience nature was a way of experiencing God and marveled at the happiness it can bring. In his novel Walden he writes of the happiness and contentment he feels while listening to the birds in the chapter titled "Sounds." His happiness is short-lived when it is interrupted by the sound of a train driving through the countryside. The reader gathers that, like many Transcendentalists, Thoreau is against the Industrial Revolution taking place in America. He felt this industrialization would poison nature and complicate life even more than it already was. The poisoning of nature would effect the connection a person could have with God as well.

Thoreau wrote about living a simple and uncomplicated life in Walden. He argues against the things that mark status in American society, owning land, dressing in fashion, and earning a high pay. Thoreau reasoned th...


... middle of paper ...


...be content with just being average. He states that each person who explores themselves will be individual from one another. Each person should be concerned with only his business and motivations. Individuality was important to Thoreau. He had no concerns of what other people thought about his actions or ways of living and felt this made his life less complicated and simpler to concentrate on more important things.

Thoreau was truly a Transcendentalist. He focused on the individual and the relationship he has with himself, nature, and God. He felt living simply and plainly would free him to gain a greater understanding of the world around him. Understanding of the world around you could only come after gaining a greater understanding of yourself. Once a person let get of the constraints of society were they free to begin to explore themselves and the world.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Transcendentalism in Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson's Literature Essay - We as humans are all born with a gift, the gift of being able to think and being able to have thoughts transitioning through our minds. From the thoughts of compassion to the thoughts of heinous, we as humans all have our own interpretation of life. Transcendentalism is the idea that our souls have with nature and that our ideas go beyond the aspect of the world as we see it. During the 1800’s, Transcendentalism blossoms with the help of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson, they all express their beliefs through their writings which consists of self reliance, love of nature, and “Carpe Diem”....   [tags: Dead Poets’ Society]
:: 2 Works Cited
878 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Henry David Thoreau and Transcendentalism Essay - Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau ended up going to Harvard College and while he was there he studied Greek and Latin as well as German. During the time that he was studying he got ill and had to take a break from studying. In the year of 1837 he graduated from Harvard but after this he really did not know what he was going to do. Since he did not know what he wanted to do he ended up creating a school with his brother in 1838. Not long after John became ill and the school soon collapsed....   [tags: study, school, guity] 698 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Transcendentalism: Henry David Thoreau - ... Another theme of Walden is unity with God. Thoreau believed that God was unified with philosophy, nature, and humanity, an idea that stemmed from the Transcendentalist movement. The Transcendentalist movement was a religious movement characterized by the belief that religion was what was inside of you, not what other people told you (“Thoreau, Henry David”). Thoreau was a strong believer in what this movement stood for, and because of this, he immersed himself into nature to discover religion and God inside of himself....   [tags: waldo, writing, literary movement]
:: 4 Works Cited
1097 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism: The Antidote to Brainwashed Youth Essay examples - When I was first exposed to the concept of Transcendentalism in my English class, the idea seemed farfetched and rather abstract. Upon further readings and research, I discovered that the concepts, although they originally seemed esoteric, where works of true brilliance. Society has made it hard for individuals to exist when things like popular culture seemingly brainwash youth into doing whatever is considered “cool”. Transcendentalism is a powerful concept which should be acknowledged by my generation, for the points encompassed in Transcendentalism are more vital today than ever....   [tags: Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau, n] 701 words
(2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Catalyst that Changed Modern America Essay - There are many spurs who did not play basketball in San Antonio for the National Basketball Association against twenty nine other teams. Many of these humans chose to change the world due to their interest and not for wealth. Henry David Thoreau found even the most absurd things to grasp his attention, which was important to the ignorance of the people. Agitated about the government, he wanted to see the correct behavior and the goodness of human character. Thoreau also stressed the concern to stand out and alone....   [tags: Thoreau's transcendentalism]
:: 3 Works Cited
904 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Thoreau and Transcendentalism Essay - Followers of the Transcendentalist movement stressed the religious, philosophical and ideological importance of life. Henry David Thoreau was a staunch supporter of the movement. Thoreau felt that a person lived a good life by following his conscience and instincts. He also felt that materialism was a sure way to distract a person from leading a good and moral life. Thoreau proposed for the government to be involved in as little of a citizen's life as possible; he felt too much government control just complicated a person's life....   [tags: Civil Disobedience, Transcendentalist Movement] 771 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism in Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson's Literature - “If a person wished to know what transcendentalism was he should empty his mind of everything coming from tradition and the rest would be transcendentalism” (Boller 34). This literary period has dramatically shaped literature and religion, in America. Many writers like Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickinson have been influence by transcendental ideas. It is astonishing how an inspiring literature movement can change so much of the world’s view and still is around today. Transcendentalism was an American literature movement urging people to look past everyday material life, and reach into their souls to find inner peace with themselves....   [tags: philosophy, american literature movement]
:: 8 Works Cited
992 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Henry David Thoreau and Transcendentalism Essay - Henry David Thoreau and Transcendatalism Henry David Thoreau harbored many anarchist thoughts toward the American government of the decades before the Civil War, which he collected and wrote about in the essay, "Civil Disobedience", which, in fact was originally called "Resistance to Civil Government", giving the essay a powerful message that would not only reflect Thoreau's own views toward the Mexican war, but also give the essay a powerful anti-slavery message, as well as affect the whole idea of Civil Rights, as well as shape the leaders of Civil Rights....   [tags: Essays Papers]
:: 4 Works Cited
668 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Excerpt From Thoreau's Walden Essay - Excerpt From Thoreau's Walden Colonization in Plymouth I awoke before the first rays of sunlight had passed through the dew-covered trees to the west today. It had rained the evening before, and the smell of wet leaves and grass was still lingering in the air. I prepared myself for the upcoming adventurous day. I set out along a less-traveled path through the woods leading to the shore. I could hear every rustle of the newly fallen leaves covering the ground. The brown ground signaled the changing of seasons and nature's way of preparing for the long winter ahead....   [tags: Walden Thoreau Transcendentalism Essays] 472 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Themes of Transcendentalism in Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau Essay - In the book Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau, written in 1854, there is portrayed a strong philosophical theme on transcendentalism. This view on the world was a prominent New England philosophy during the author’s life, and had a great effect on him. This view has a very simple idea. It shows that people, men and women equally, have a knowledge about the world around them, as well as themselves, that goes beyond what they can they can see, smell, taste, touch, or feel. This knowledge is acquired through imagination and intuition....   [tags: knowledge, materialistic, philosophy]
:: 1 Works Cited
557 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]