Transcendentalism: Ralph waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

Transcendentalism: Ralph waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Essay

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Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote it and Henry David Thoreau lived it. Transcendentalism was a religious and philosophical movement developed approximately in the 1820s and 1830s. It began in the northeastern part of the United States. According to Paul Reuben, the movement began as a protest against spirituality and the intellectualism brought from England to the United States (Reuben). The movement’s core beliefs can be inferred in a single line, infixed good found in nature and people. They fought against the only two big institutions that influenced society in that time, the government and religion; which were said to pervert individuals.
As Reuben proposed, the roots for transcendentalism come from several past movements, amongst which are two of great importance. The first, Utilitarianism, which is where the Father of the movement comes from; who’s influence was separating the person from the Deity and portraying humans as a source of moral light. The second major influence comes from Romanticism and gave transcendentalism its concept of nature and the idea of it, being a living thing, not something stable and everlasting
Emerson and Thoreau are the father and student of transcendentalism. As previously mentioned, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote about the movement and was the most important scholar who argued about it. Hendy David Thoreau was Emerson’s student and fell in love with the movement, he decided to leave everything and live the movement. While Emerson and Thoreau agree in their belief that nature is the key to knowing it all, they differ greatly in their methods of experimenting the movement and their transcendentalism practices.
The founder of transcendentalism was a distinct lecturer and poet advocating and inventing ...


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...beliefs on transcendentalism.



Works Cited

Bodily, Christopher L. "Henry David Thoreau: The Instrumental Transcendentalist?." Journal Of Economic Issues (Association For Evolutionary Economics) 21.1 (1987): 203. Business Source Elite. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Heitman, Danny. "Ralph Waldo Emerson." Humanities 34.3 (2013): 32-36. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2nd Apr. 2014.
Ingman, Benjamin C. "Henry David Thoreau." Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue 13.1/2 (2011): 143-158. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1st Apr. 2014.
Payne, Daniel G. "Emerson's Natural Theology: John Burroughs And The "Church" Of Latter Day Transcendentalism." Atq 21.3 (2007): 191-205. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2nd Apr. 2014.
Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 4: American Transcendentalism: A Brief Introduction." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. Apr. 1st, 2014.

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