Self-Reliance: Journey through Transcendentalism Essay

Self-Reliance: Journey through Transcendentalism Essay

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Journey through Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism is the system of philosophy that leads to reality. Although the philosophy is an opinionated subject, there are still universal judgments about it. William Bryant, Henry Thoreau, and Ralph Emerson illustrate the ideas of transcendentalism through their works using rhetorical devices. Thoreau uses paradox to illustrate his belief of individualism in his memoir Walden. In Bryant’s Thanatopsis he describes death through his uses of pathos. Emerson shows self-reliance while using logos in his work of Self-Reliance.
Henry Thoreau illustrates the belief of individualism in his memoir Walden using paradox. Individualism is the social theory that allows the rights or independent action of the individual. Paradox is statement that seems credible but also contradicts itself. “I went to the woods / because I wished to live deliberately / to front only the essential / facts of life,” (237). In this excerpt, Thoreau explains that people shall learn to choose his or her paths of life independently and purposely. He sets himself in the wilderness to be only around “essential facts of life” to explain that life is not just physical appearance but also self-fulfillment. A person who does not take the time to enjoy his or her life will realize later in life that he or she should have taken greater advantage of life. “Our life is frittered away by detail.” In this quotation, Thoreau states that people waste time on details in life. This refers to the person not taking advantage of life. If people live his or lives worrying about details and do not branch into excitement they will not be able to say they have lived life truly. There are more paradoxical ideas Thoreau uses to illustrate individual...

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...very individual is in control of his/hers capabilities, judgment, and powers, which refers to self-reliance. Emerson descriptively displays the ideas of self-reliance in his memoir Self-Reliance through his uses of logos.
Through the years, people of the world have accepted or opposed the idea of transcendentalism. Some politic the idea as the following authors did. Henry Thoreau, William Bryant, and Ralph Emerson did not only choose to accept the idea but also they embrace the knowledge and display their individual thoughts and beliefs on it. They descriptively inscribe their thoughts through poems and memoirs. Also the authors make uses of rhetorical devices such as paradox, pathos, and logos to achieve their thoughts toward transcendentalism. The beliefs they display are individualism, death, and self-reliance. Their beliefs continue to gain recognition today.

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