Essay on Transcendentalism

Essay on Transcendentalism

Length: 1015 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emerson and Thoreau and their Perspectives of Transcendentalism

Imagine a world where each individual thought for himself, not allowing other

outside influences to mold his ideas. We currently live in a society in which a single clip

on television, quote from a newspaper, or opinion from a peer can consequently

determine how one thinks or the outlook they have on a topic.

In "Self-Reliance," Emerson states, "A man should learn to detect and watch that

gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than luster of the

firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, just because

it is his." In this quote Emerson is elaborating on the idea that we must all exude

intellectual independence and nonconformity. Why do we rely on others to determine the

way we think, act, dress and speak? Thoreau and Emerson both tried to incorporate this

idea into their writings. When an individual allows others to influence his own ideas he

is rendered weak-minded and ignorant. An individual must think for themselves in order

to achieve a true sense of self.

Thoreau often emphasizes the necessity to follow one's destiny. If one follows

his dream, he will be able to live a life full of happiness and joy. He will experience

more freedom and become more spiritually fulfilled in his new way of life. Moreover, he

will only achieve this once he has given up parts of his past customs. By living more

simply, he will be fully satisfied with his new habits that do not focus on the pecuniary

aspects of life. If he has already spent the previous part of his life satisfying his material

wants, he has not completely wasted his li...


... middle of paper ...


...eart, is true for all men,-that is genius." This means that

we set the principles in which we live by and how we view ourselves as a person. We

view the world through our own eyes and all interpret life around us differently.

Although these pieces of literature were written over one-hundred years ago we

can still see the importance that could potentially have a dramatic affect on the way we

view the world and society as a whole. Thoreau and Emerson both incorporated these

ideas of individuality into their works allowing the readers to think for themselves. In a

way you can almost say that really we are truly the ones who give definition to the essay,

taking from it not necessarily their thoughts but what we extracted from it....but then

again maybe that's exactly what they intended.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Individualism And Transcendentalism Essay

- Skylar Wilkerson Mr. Fillinger English 3 Period 2 03 November 2017 Differences between transcendentalism and the modern era     The ideals that people in the world are constantly changing. Three things that have changed since the transcendentalist era are peoples views on individualism, nature, and materialism. There are many differences between the transcendentalist era and the modern day. Individualism from the transcendentalist era is very different then it is in the modern day. In the transcendentalist era, everyone believed that the person is more important than the society....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Thoreau And Transcendentalism

- What if the world focused and was run on conformity and consistency. What I Lived and What I Lived For written by Henry David Thoreau and Self-Reliance written by Ralph Waldo Emerson are both pieces of literature discussing transcendentalism and the tenet of conformity being undesirable compared to nonconformity. Emerson’s piece describes how part of person’s freedom and identity are given up when they become part of a group. Mankind had grown less inquisitive and therefore does not question the world around them....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
1237 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Transcendentalism And Its Impact On The Movement

- Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement in the late 1820s and early 1830s that focused on spirituality and individuality. The movement was a direct protest against religious and governmental institutions that they believed obstructed a person’s uniqueness. Ironically, the movement’s members were all mostly men, which to some point also obstructed the female viewpoint as there was a huge gender disadvantage. Despite an unleveled playfield, the contribution of transcendentalist women cannot be understated as their work helped defined the movement....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
1604 words (4.6 pages)

Essay about The Correlation Of History And Transcendentalism

- Jesus Olaiz: Mrs. Hughes English III 3/6/2015 The Correlation of History and Transcendentalism A man named Henry David Thoreau went into the woods and lived on his own for 2 years and 2 months and 2 days. From his point of view, he thought it helped with his writing and improved his outlook on life. Also, there was the current historical issues that pushed him to want to escape in the first place. Everything he did for those two years stuck directly to the current ideals and values of transcendentalism....   [tags: Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson]

Strong Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)

Transcendentalism In Into The Wild By Chris Mccandless Essay example

- In the movie Into the Wild Chris McCandless, the main character, held many of the same transcendentalist ideals that influential transcendentalists such as Henry David Thoreau held; however, Chris is a prime example of someone who missed the point by a long shot. In accordance to the transcendentalist beliefs, Chris decided that after going to college he would go out into the world by himself instead of going into the workforce. From there, he went on a long and exhausting journey to eventually end up in Alaska....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

The Philosophical And Religious Movement Of Transcendentalism Essay

- Henry David Thoreau: An Analysis of Transcendentalism The philosophical and religious movement of Transcendentalism was created during the early 1800’s. People who consider themselves Transcendentalists are dedicated to the ideas and ways that society’s government and controlled religion will destroy the self. They believe in the self and the pureness of the individual. They also had an understanding that all people held a piece of God inside of them; belief that God is one being and all people are combined into one God....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)

Transcendentalism And The American Revolution Essay

- Transcendentalist were part of a movement called Transcendentalism which was created with ideas from philosophy, literature, and religion. This movement emerged and became favored in the nineteenth century in New England. Transcendentalism was a way to reformulate the idea of man and his position in the world in response to a new and changing society. The new movements the emerged during this time like the industrial revolution, the westward expansion, the starts of universities, immigration and urbanization made Boston seem unusual and full of chaos....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
2365 words (6.8 pages)

Ralph Waldo Emerson And Transcendentalism Essay

- Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. He was a son of Unitarian minister and the descendant of New England clergymen. This led him to become a minister himself and later quit to focus on his philosophy called transcendentalism. Emerson started writing in his youth and later attended Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard in 1821 he taught in a women school. The book of Anthology of American Literature says, “Like his philosophy, his writing seemed to lack organization, but it swarmed with epigrams and memorable passages” (939)....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
2180 words (6.2 pages)

Essay about Walden Thoreau And Transcendentalism

- Silence fills the air. A man in his late 20’s lies in a handmade hut in a private 14 acre woodlot known as Walden Pond. Two essays are strewn across the mossy floor: Self Reliance and Nature. Suddenly, footsteps could be heard outside. It turns out that the man’s mother came with freshly baked cookies and some food for breakfast. Later on that day, more footsteps could be heard. Outside, a group of people had emerged, looking for the young man. Once again, the tranquility of Walden Pond was broken....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Strong Essays
1034 words (3 pages)

Transcendentalism in Literature Essays

- The New England Renaissance brought out two distinct, yet influential movements known as transcendentalism and anti-transcendentalism. The two concentrated on intuition and human nature and formed a revolt against previously accepted ideas such as Calvinist orthodoxy, strict Puritan attitudes, ritualism, and the dogmatic theology of religious institutions. Transcendentalism is a term rooted back to Plato, a Greek philosopher who first affirmed the existence of absolute goodness, which he characterized as beyond something of description and as knowable only through intuition....   [tags: Transcendentalism Essays]

Strong Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)