Amos Bronson Alcott was a man of many talents and professions, including, but not limited to, educator, philosopher, conversationalist and poet. He was born on a farm near Wolcott, Connecticut, and formally educated only until he was 13, as his family did not have enough money to educate him any further. His dreams of attending Yale, therefore, died. However, he did continue teaching himself. And never really stopped reading and self-educating. Despite this, he never became very wealthy, and in fact, struggled most of his life to make enough money to support his family. Though not rich in material goods, he was rich in values. (Mott, 2). He stood up very strongly for what he believed in. He not only defended his ideals through his conversations and writings, but also through his actions.
Alcott was an important member of the Transcendentalism movement and represented the more radical side of the movement (Mott, 2). He had strong ideals and was not content to merely talk as others were. Though he said "address most direct, proffered in meekness and love [is] the reformers only weapon." (Stoehr, 42) he also said that a "true reformer initiates his labor in the precincts of private life." (Stoehr, 39) And therefore, he involved himself wholeheartedly in pursuing those things he thought worthy of pursuing.
One of Alcott's pursuits was for a reformed method of education. And so, he opened up his own school for children based upon the teaching methods of Jesus, Socrates, and Pythagoras. There were open spaces and a comfortable atmosphere. The children were taught inductive methodology, and were not subjected to corporal punishment. Alcott also attempted to establish a utopian society, the Fruitlands. Unfor...
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...the same meaning as that presented in Emerson's: the parts cannot be seen away from the whole without changing their meaning because everything is interconnected. Those who do delve into trying to understand the parts away from the whole are only crudely disturbing the beauty of what is.
Alcott, Amos Bronson. "Orphic Sayings." The Dial I:1:85-98 (July 1840); I:3:351-361 (January 1841); II:4:423-425 (April, 1842), 'Days from a Diary.' Ed. Paul S. Christensen. 5 December 2001 as cited on:
Mott, Wesley T. Biographical Dictionary of Transcendentalism. Westport, Conneticut. 1996.
Parini, Jay. The Columbia Anthology of American Poetry. Chichester, West Sussex, New York. 1995.
Stoehr, Taylor. Nay-Saying in Concord: Emerson, Alcott and Thoreau. Hamden, Conneticut. 1979.
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