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Transcendentalism in Into The Wild, by John Krakauer

Powerful Essays
Transcendentalism has been felt by all humans at one point or another, the outcome all depends on whether or not this feeling is acted upon. Various sources have all explored transcendentalism and its effects / outcomes, and these sources have ranged from songs, to poems, to books, and even movies. All of these sources tend to lead towards one distinct definition. This definition can be supported by all of my material and transcendentalism is best defined, through these sources, as a philosophy that reality should be explored through spiritual means, involving a unique spiritual connection with the natural world around you.

There are many excellent verbal illustrations of transcendentalism in the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds from their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The Beatles mention many various aspects of transcendentalism within one song. The song starts at the very beginning by asking you to “Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.” Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds begins by asking you to picture yourself in nature, to get you to visualize the natural world. They then proceed to describe nature fantastically, with vivid colors, and words that evoke other sentences, leading you to believe that you have a more unique connection with nature than you used to have now that you headed into nature. Then, later in the song, you stand underneath these large yellow and green flowers made of cellophane that tower over your head. By having the flowers tower over your head, those flowers illustrate the total immersion into nature that is a core part of transcendentalism. Yellow and green are also both colors generally associated more with nature, subtly referencing the...

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...any have failed. It has become a sort of rite of passage, if you will. A majority of young men feel that calling at one time or another, the outcome all depends on whether you answer, ignore, or try to fight the call of the wild.

Works Cited

Call of the Wild. Dir. Peter Svatek. Lions Gete, 1997.

“A Discussion About the Film ‘Into the Wild’.” Charlie Rose. PBS. KCTS, Seattle. 21 Sept. 2007.

D’Oro, Rachel. “Close to Home: Harsh Alaskan Reality Lies Behind Growing ‘Into the Wild’ Mystique.” The Seattle Times 3 August 2008: J4.

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor Books, 1997.

McCartney, Paul, and John Lennon. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Rec. 1 Mar. 1967. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles. George Martin, 1967. Vinyl recording.

Thoreau, Henry David. From Walden. American Literature. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968.
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