Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote American Scholar during the period of transdentalism in 1840-1860 which emerged after romanticism. Transcendentalism dominated the thinking of the American Renaissance, the period before the Civil War where new literary and philosophical forms flourished, and its resonances vibrated through American life well into the 20th century. In one way or another our most creative minds were drawn into its thrall, attracted not only to its practicable messages of confident self-identity, spiritual progress and social justice, but also by its aesthetics, which celebrated, in landscape and mindscape, the immense grandeur of the American soul.As Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, (1948) states that independence is the freedom to organize for own life and making own decision without any help from other. Constitution is the formation of laws that makes human fall under one country with independence. According to Emerson’s (1834) observation, American Scholar was diverged from European roots which means America gained independence.
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.
Transcendental and Anti-Transcendental Movements During the New England Renaissance period of 1840-1855, literature underwent two very distinct movements known as Transcendentalism and Anti-Transcendentalism. Both movements were very influential and consisted of authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson (Transcendentalist) and Nathaniel Hawthorne (Anti-Transcendentalist). Concentrating their ideas on human nature and intuition, rather than on logic and reason, both these movements served as a flourishing revolt against previously accepted ideas. The Transcendental movement focused its ideas on the essential unity of creation, the pure goodness of humanity and in individual intuition as the highest source of knowledge, rather than sensory experience. Optimism dominated people's thoughts and was shown in the ideas of the Transcendentalists.
Whenever someone holds nature and how man is connected to all of creation—nature and man—one is thinking in a Theocentric way. Theocentrism can rationally be considered the apologetic bridge between “theology and science.” Gordon Kaufman is considered a leading figure in the Theocentric theology in the 20th century. The author Thomas James wrote a journal on Gordon Kaufman, stating that Kaufman discussed the Theocentric theology as being “deeply responsive to the naturalistic picture of the world being worked out in the natural sciences.” Kaufman believed in the theories from science, but had a conviction aimed at the belief in One God over all. This led him to participate in the discussion of Theocentrism because of his belief in one God; Kaufman was left with a dilemma so he concluded that God was more than just creator, God must indwell creation itself. To describe actions of creation such as the big bang theory, or evolution, Kaufman would argue that, as science, good things, or an outcome of something good, was an act of God, while also saying that the action was God Himself.
The same people think there is not necessarily an absolute Being who causes the world to be (Frost 42). Transcendentalists think nature is a product of the mind, and without the mind nature would not exist (Santayana 42). These ideas come from the Romantic traditions which originated in England. The Romantics believed in spiritual unity of all forms of being, with God, humanity, and nature sharing a universal soul (Adventures 208). Transcendentalists came to the conclusion that good and evil were things only man could control.
“One path in particular was taken in the path to find sources in the French Revolution of 1789 through 1793 and other revolutionary movements such as the July Revolution of 1830” (Fluck).Realism is found everywhere in literature and has enhanced the experiences of our lives, especially in the humanities. The ultimate influential arguments for realism is that it represents the life that people live. In response to the Romantic Era, the Realism Movement sought to depict real-life situations and people that not only affected literature, but also the American music written in the early eighteenth century through the twenty-first century. Many may ... ... middle of paper ... ...enty-first century. “The term “humanities” is difficult to define in part because it is used in at least two different ways: one to denote specific branches of learning or academic disciplines that explore human experience and values both past and present; and two to describe ways of thinking about the human condition” (Collins).
Walden; or, Life in the Woods by David Henry Thoreau is very significant to the transcendentalism movement of Thoreau’s time. His ideas presented throughout the book drove others to follow the example he set before them of new ideas. David Henry Thoreau presented the idea of self-reliance in his book Walden, which is an asset that is still alive in culture today. The transcendentalism movement began in the 1820s. According to the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, transcendentalism is “an idealistic philosophy that in general emphasizes the spiritual over the material” (Elwell 1214).
As tension arose between the two parties, colonists began to change their outlook on what freedoms they should have. This resulted in famous documents like the Declaration of Independence. This document reflects the newly cultivated “American Dream” through its calls for individual rights and self-acclaimed success. During the Revolutionary movement, the American Dream emerged as upward mobility through logic, hard work, creativity, and curiosity; these concepts were illustrated in the Rationalist Movement and literature. The traits and dreams of people in the Revolutionary Period were reflected in the lives of influential leaders such as Benjamin Franklin.
This movement brought literature of fireside poetry to the American Hero. Over the course of the American Romantic Period, focusing on emotions, changed the way Americans comprehended upward mobility in the American dream, which in turn changed the way authors wrote and lived their lives. The numerous characteristics of the romantic period helped shape the era. Romantics obsessed over the idea of individuality. They felt the need to have self-expression.
Let us first start by defining The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason is an intellectual movement in the eighteenth century which was fueled by the scientific uprising. The philosophes were the intellectuals of the Enlightenment. In addition, philosophes were public literati who applied reason to the study of many components of education, including “philosophy, history, science, politics, economics and social problems.” With the use of a keen eye faults that needed improvement were looked for. Successes in understanding the real world through processes of logic and observation encouraged the belief that similar progress might be made in the area of politics and social affairs. Like the scientific uprising, the Enlightenment involved an application of the “natural” attitudes.