Compare And Contrast Thoreau And Transcendentalism

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Transcendentalism was a widespread philosophical movement that took place in America during the 1840s and 1850s. Transcendentalists believed that God, man, and nature were all connected to one another and that every man has a soul. Through this belief, the transcendentalists worked to become one with nature and, therefore, one with God. Two of the most popular authors from the transcendental period are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Both men discussed the five traits of transcendentalism through their writings and expressed how all men should follow them to live a purely good life. In all of their writings, one of their most prominent points was the need for nature. This point was strengthened by the belief that God, man, and…show more content…
One of the biggest points that both men presented was the idea of living a simple life to live a better life. Thoreau even stated that living life in a hurry was a waste of a life (Thoreau 382). The men chose to separate themselves from society and encouraged others to follow. Another point that both men made was the presence of God in nature. Both men wrote about their awareness of God while in nature, Emerson through the vegetables and Thoreau through the fish in winter. Both speak of their sudden awareness and appreciation for God on a spiritual level. Finally, both men spoke about the peace that nature can bring to man. Nature can make one feel young and can help clear the mind and uncover ideas that one may be seeking. All in all, Emerson and Thoreau shared similar perspectives on nature. In essence, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau shared a similar view of transcendentalism and both encouraged man’s relationship with nature. In Nature, Emerson used the connection between God and nature in hopes of others appreciating the beauty of nature. In Walden, Thoreau used his many tales from his time in the woods to attempt to explain how to live life to the fullest. Both men encouraged a life of simplicity and a close relationship with nature. In the final analysis, Emerson and Thoreau were two popular transcendentalists who shared similar views on

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