Essay On The Movie Transcendentalism

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Transcendentalism is a fancy word for a pretty simple idea. An idea that “People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that “transcends” or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel” (An Explosion of New Thought) Based on this idea, it is intuition and imagination that sparks knowledge not logic. This “New Thought” or so it came to be called “Transcendentalism” first made its appearance in the 1900’s (around 1836 to be more specific) among New England Congregationalists and was a reaction against rationalism. Transcendentalists believed that all people were born inherently good and that “they are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent”(Wikipedia). They also believed that a true community could only be formed if it were made up of such self-reliant and independent individuals.
With the definitions of Transcendentalism fresh in mind, watch the new block buster movie Divergent (based on the number one selling book series by Veronica Roth), and one could not help but see similarities. In the movie, the main character “Triss” is born into a “factions society” where all citizens are neatly put into sections of society based on what that society’s views are of the person. She was supposed to act, think, live, behave and believe as her specific faction designated. Triss understands the expectations that are forced on her but chooses to go against the grain and choose her own way of thinking, acting, feeling and believing and eventually encourages others to do the same. What I noticed was her knowledge and beliefs about herself and the world around her transcended beyond what she was seeing and hearing. In the end she helped to put in motion a society of...

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... 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; 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”.

Henry David Thoreau and all other Transcendentalist believe that” society and its institutions-particularyly organized religion and political parties-ultimately corrupt the purity of the individual” as noted in Wikipedia…I guess in many ways I have to agree!!!
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