Essay on Transcendentalism And Its Impact On The Movement

Essay on Transcendentalism And Its Impact On The Movement

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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. Therefore, this paper will examined the women that influenced and gave life to the movement, rediscover other prominent women from the era, and analyze Margret Fuller’s role as a transcendental leader.
Ralph Waldo Emerson is often proclaimed as the “Father of American Literature” (Habich 4). This is a title primarily given due to his ambitions to create a new form of literature in the United States, which he did accomplish through the transcendentalism movement. Although most of the members in his Transcendental Club were men, his greatest influence was a woman. As a matter of fact, it was his own aunt, Mary Moody Emerson, which motivated Waldo and indirectly created the transcendentalism movement. After the death of William Emerson, Waldo’s father and Mary’s brother, in 1811, Mary became a sort of “step father” for Waldo and his siblings (Myerson 641). She attended to them and also helped them in their studies to which Waldo became the closest to her. Since they were very close, Waldo was given free access to read her aunt’s journals, which she referred to as almanacs. Astonishingly, Mary wrote in her almanacs over themes concerning “nature, solitude, self-reliance and religion”, ...


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...ed an essential role in the rise and establishment of transcendentalism as a formidable literary movement of American literature. Without the teachings of Mary Moody Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson may have never been influenced to start a literary movement focus on the divinity of individuals. Abigail May Alcott, Sara Ripley, and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody all illustrated that they were just as capable as their male counterparts to earn an education and be activists against issues that not only concern the female gender but also other Americans. Ultimately, Fuller embodies the profile and diligence that a leader of a male-dominated movement would possess: education; integrity; and commitment. Without these movement, perhaps transcendentalism would have existed, but its survival as in scholarship and as a defining moment of American literature would have never flourished.

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