Jon Krakauer: Modern Youth Transcendentalism

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When the original writers of transcendentalism detailed their experiences, they had no idea of the magnitude of self-reflection they would trigger. Thousands of American youth follow their writings and findings looking for a better life and brighter future. Writers such as Thoreau and Emerson, as well as others, inspired a multitude of individuals to observe their surroundings and become more than themselves. Throughout modern American society, the majority of youths attempt to follow a transcendental path in their everyday lives; however they find it difficult due to a loss of nature, less individuality, and conformist teachings.
Consequently, a multitude of youth today attempt to follow the same principles of intuition, imagination, idealism, individuality, and inspiration established long ago. However, it is increasingly difficult to follow these principles in a modern setting within society today. There is a human tendency to break free from society, especially in children and young adults. If you attempt to be someone you are not then you cannot be yourself (McCarthy). The difficulty is especially apparent in youths currently growing up in today’s society. Modern young adults are bonded to a life of convenience and ease, given what they need and often receiving what they want in abundance. However, sometimes less is more, and more can be accomplished when there is only focus on the important things (Thoreau 236). There remains a lack of necessity for imagination, curiosity, or adventure. Author Jon Krakauer contends, “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure” (57). Adolescents may try to be transcendental in their individual actions and imaginative thoughts, but are pulled back into conformi...

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... often due to society's inability to embrace individuality and nurture nature.

Works Cited

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature. 1836. Prentice Hall Literature Timeless Voices,
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Krakauer, Jon. Into the wild. New York: Anchor Books, 1997. Print.
McCarthy, Brittany, and Megan Newhard. "Modern Transcendentalism -
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Thoreau, Henry David. Walden, or Life in the Woods. 1854. Prentice Hall Literature
Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.

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