American Transcendentalism Essays

American Transcendentalism Essays

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American Transcendentalism is a reform movement that involves the development of new ideas that are taken into light by political, literacy, and philosophical changes. As a whole, Transcendentalism is not a religion, but a way of believing in oneself. Rather than relying on the support of Christ, Transcendentalists connect themselves to the concept of self actualization and realization in order to be at peace and reach the maximum capacity of happiness they are able to achieve. The individual his or herself has the ability to live life as he or she pleases based on the structure of the universe and the composition of the individual itself, not physically but mentally.
This movement brings forth the concept of supporting nature as a whole and using its virtues as a symbol and a way to be at one with oneself whilst gaining self knowledge and realization. To Transcendentalists, nature, beauty, and the soul are linked to one another. This link allows one to locate the comfort and peace that may not be present in regular civilization and society. As a result, isolationism may occur. Several aspects of Transcendentalism are located within the texts of most Transcendentalist authors and their literature, which includes living as one desires, looking to nature for support, isolationism from regular civilization, and the overall divinity and beauty that nature has to offer. Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden and “Walking,” and Ralph Waldo Emerson, author of the essay Nature, are two of the numerous popular Transcendentalists of their time period who will display these characteristics within their text.
It is in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden that nature is directly spoken of. The speaker of Thoreau’s essay, whom is Thoreau himself, speaks...


... middle of paper ...


...nor differences in language, imagery, and a few beliefs. Both Thoreau and Emerson are able to put their beliefs into light as inspiration for their own pieces of work and for other Transcendentalists of that time period and for years to come.



Works Cited

Doley, Shimimoni. "The Eco-Ethical Paradigm In Emerson's Nature And Thoreau's Walden." IUP Journal Of American Literature 3.4 (2010): 22-26. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Palmer, Scott. "Why Go Straight?: Stepping Out With Henry David Thoreau's "Walking" And Edward Thomas' The Icknield Way." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies In Literature & Environment 12.1 (2005): 115-129. Literary Reference Center Plus. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.
Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 4: American Transcendentalism: A Brief Introduction." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. Web. 6 December 2013.

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