Transcendentalism in Literature Essays

Transcendentalism in Literature Essays

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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. He laid the tracks down for others to build off of. The Scholastic philosophers were the first to add to Plato's theory during the middle ages. They came up with the transcendental concepts, which show the capabilities of all types of things. Essence, unity, goodness, truth, thing, and something were the six that they recognized. Still the term transcendentalist needed refining. Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, and Edmund Husserl formed a distinction between the terms transcendent, entities that are unknown and cannot be defined, and transcendental, signifying a priori forms of thought, innate principles with which the mind gives form to its perceptions, and classified their views as transcendental.
The transcendental movement began to take shape in 1836 at the Transcendental Club in Boston, in which the most influence leaders of the movement came together and published a magazine known as The Dial which was expressed their ideas and brought them to the public. Some of the attendees included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, Brunson Alcott, and William Willery C...


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... to admit) what the black veil symbolized, Mr. Hooper running into nature's darkness is symbolic of this Anti-Transcendental idea.
Herman Melville was born in 1819 and died 1891. He was an American novelist who was only recognized at the beginning of the 20th century. He was born in New York City and published his primary anti-transcendentalist piece of art, Moby Dick. It shows human nature and evil in that it describes Captain Ahab as an individual who goes after a dream that will not be fulfilled and eventually will bring him death. It shows the evil inside of people.
The authors during the movements concentrated on reflecting the ideas (of the corresponding movement) to the reader in a symbolic way through literature. The literature builds the idea of humanity and nature in different perspectives, which reflects the principle ideas of both the movements.

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