Preview
Preview

Transcendentalism Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1378 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



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

Transcendentalism was an early philosophical, intellectual, and literary movement that thrived in New England in the nineteenth century. Transcendentalism was a collection of new ideas about literature, religion, and philosophy. It began as a squabble in the Unitarian church when intellectuals began questioning and reacting against many of the church’s orthodoxy ways regarding all of the aforementioned subjects: religion, culture, literature, social reform, and philosophy. They in turn developed their own faith focusing on the divinity of humanity and the innate world. Many of the Transcendentalists ideas were expressed heavily by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essays such as “Nature”, “Self Reliance”, and also in his poems such as “The Rhodora.” Some may even go as far as to say that Emerson is the definite center of this movement. Emerson was not alone in his path of thought; other prominent authors such as Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller were dubbed as Transcendentalists. The Transcendental movement significantly shaped and changed the course of American literature; many writers were profoundly influenced by Emerson and Thoreau and in turn began using transcendental thought, whether in response to or by how they imitated transcendental ideas. The roots of Transcendentalism began to grow from Emerson’s Nature and Self-Reliance, as well as Thoreau’s Walden, which inspired many writers and intellectuals to take part in this optimistic belief that God is inherent in each and every individual, as well as in nature, and the highest source of knowledge can be achieved through individuality, self-reliance, and the rejection of traditional authority.
American Transcendentalism was mostly used in literary and factual form, and was partly religious. This term “American Transcendentalism” was in fact defined by three very influential people. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous essayist and poet, Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, and Margaret Fuller, a well known feminist, author, and social reformer. Their ideas were a mix of intellectual, artistic, and spiritual elements. They were searching for a different kind of philosophy that was based upon morals and natural appeal. They discovered writings from the eighteenth century from Kant, and ancient writings of Confucius, which helped them to develop ideas for “American Transcendentalism.” Emerson and his peers rejec...


... middle of paper ...


...fe, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan- like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to 'glorify God and enjoy him forever.' Still we live meanly, like ants; ... Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail."


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 Literature Essays - The New England Renaissance brought out two distinct, yet influential movements known as transcendentalism and anti-transcendentalism. The two concentrated on intuition and human nature and formed a revolt against previously accepted ideas such as Calvinist orthodoxy, strict Puritan attitudes, ritualism, and the dogmatic theology of religious institutions. Transcendentalism is a term rooted back to Plato, a Greek philosopher who first affirmed the existence of absolute goodness, which he characterized as beyond something of description and as knowable only through intuition....   [tags: Transcendentalism Essays] 1021 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism blossomed during the 1800s with the help of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson. They were Transcendentalists who expressed their beliefs through writings from poems to essays and they believed that “the individual was at the center of the universe” (Prentice Hall 384). The idea of Transcendentalism is complex and for this reason, only a number of people understood it. Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson, were one of the many people who were Transcendentalist; these writers went out of their way in society to represent their beliefs....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson] 914 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism Many people have theories and philosophies about life in general. There have been hundreds of thousands of books published by many different people on the ideas of people in the past and the present. Transcendentalism falls in amongst all of these ideas. There have been articles, essays, poems, and even books written about this subject. Transcendentalism has effected many people since the philosophy was first introduced. The idea was complex and hard to grasp for many commoners and therefore it was understood by few people, and some would think that the idea was not understood at all and that was part of the idea....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 2 Works Cited
1611 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism Back in the 1800's, people trusted in their innersoul. it was called transcendentalism. People like Emerson and Thoreau were transcendentalism. They didn't think with their heads. They do things like in their first impression. If they sees that a tree is violet, they will paint it violet. During that era, Romanticism was party of it too. Ideas of Romanticism with transcendentalism. In our everyday life, we use transcendentalism. We use our head to think and our hart to feel love and hate, but sometimes you say something without thinking about it....   [tags: essays research papers] 562 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism The highly religious philosophy of Transcendentalism developed as the response of a group of people who felt that it was unnecessary to practice a religion (and live a life) that was based on fear. The first Transcendentalists set out to create a more liberal way of life that allowed for personal growth, justice and freedom. To truly understand the implications of Transcendentalism and why Transcendentalists believed what they did, one must first look at the root of Transcendentalism, Unitarianism....   [tags: essays papers]
:: 5 Works Cited
944 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism was an early philosophical, intellectual, and literary movement that thrived in New England in the nineteenth century. Transcendentalism was a collection of new ideas about literature, religion, and philosophy. It began as a squabble in the Unitarian church when intellectuals began questioning and reacting against many of the church’s orthodoxy ways regarding all of the aforementioned subjects: religion, culture, literature, social reform, and philosophy. They in turn developed their own faith focusing on the divinity of humanity and the innate world....   [tags: essays research papers] 1378 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism Transcendentalism was a movement in philosophy, literature, and religion that emerged and was popular in the nineteenth century New England because of a need to redefine man and his place in the world in response to a new and changing society. The industrial revolution, universities, westward expansion, urbanization and immigration all made the life in a city like Boston full of novelty and turbulence. Transcendentalism was a reaction to an impoverishment of religion and mechanization of consciousness of eighteenth century rational doctrines that ceased to be satisfying....   [tags: American America History] 3303 words
(9.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Although the transcendentalism movement was an extremely long time ago the ideas are still pertinent today. When Henry David Thoreau said, 'Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple tree or an oak';(247), that he would be telling people to be themselves many generations later. The transcendentalism movement took place during the early 1800's when America was developing its own writing style. The authors of the time all thought in the same wavelength....   [tags: essays research papers] 608 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Transcendentalism - Transcendentalism When an average person seeks happiness, most often they search in the wrong place: "If only I could have that I would be happy." For ages, man has been seeking happiness from outside, not within. People have the misconception that material things and materialistic goals will bring them ultimate happiness, but in truth those only bring transient happiness. True and lasting happiness can be reached from within when one realizes the ultimate truth. This ultimate truth, the main focus of transcendentalism, can be reached through self-reliance, nature, and oversoul, the main principals of the philosophy....   [tags: Papers] 808 words
(2.3 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Transcendentalism Essay - Transcendentalism is the philosophy that reality cannot be known and the divine is the guiding principle in man. Transcendentalism says that the way to god is through yourself; your inner thoughts lead you to a spiritual reality. Transcendentalism is made up of four main ideas: idealism, optimism, religion, and individualism. In Emerson's essay "Self Reliance," he expresses his optimistic faith in the power of individual achievement and originality. He also considered the overarching need to discover and develop a relationship with nature and with god....   [tags: essays research papers] 691 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]