Essay PreviewMore ↓
With the spread of the Transcendental philosophy, people started to believe that the important things in life are not material but, in a much grander scale, spiritual. In order to live truly spiritual lives one must dispose of all unneeded items and resort to living a simplistic life. This simplicity can be found by using nature. All of nature is pure and in it lives the soul of God. Not only does this soul live in nature it is also built up in every human being, and to free it one needs to find the truth inside oneself. To do this a human being needs rid of all the extra items that keep them from living simple lives and then listening to one's inner-self. Intuition and self-reliance are the paths to true happiness because once someone has freed the spirit of God within, nothing else is needed.
These beliefs of Transcendentalists were unofficially brought forth in Emerson's Nature. Emerson went on to be the main source of most of transcendental belief's exposure to the world by writing poetry and other forms of literature. He even founded the transcendental magazine, known as The Dial. In his collection of essays known as Self-Reliance, Emerson discusses the reasons for being a nonconformist, the proper reasons for travel, and the needless reliance on property. In his essay A Nonconformist, he states, "Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world." In this statement Emerson resolves to say that those who conform to follow the institutions of life can not be able to listen to the intuition which lies inside them.
How to Cite this Page
"Transcendental Movement: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Jan 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The effects nature has on individuals Not many individuals see what nature is able to do because they do not take the time to understand nature. People who are able to understand nature and understand life relationships are called transcendentalists. Some famous transcendentalists are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. These transcendentalists transformed their ideas into poems that were not like any regular poems. Nature has a big effect on individuals because it reveals the truth, lets individuals see who they really are, and helps with an individual’s personal life.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]
934 words (2.7 pages)
- Thoreau, under the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s philosophy, moves to Walden Pond to live amongst nature and exercise his self-reliance. He sought an individual and almost rebellious stance on everything, looking for truth in himself not social conventions. Thoreau lives at Walden Pond for two years and two days before moving back to “civilized society”- indicating that this was an experiment and not a life choice. Thoreau states the purpose of his experiment is to show the benefit of a simple lifestyle.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]
1359 words (3.9 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 25, 1803. He was the son of Ruth Hasking and William Emerson, who is a Unitarian Rev. Emerson 's father died (May 12, 1811) when Emerson was just seven years old, only two weeks before he turned eight. After the tragic death of his father Emerson was left to be raised by his mother and other women in the family. Mary moody Emerson, his aunt, had a very large amount of influence on his young life. She lived with the Emersons on and off and kept a close relationship with her nephew Ralph until she died in 1863.Emerson had formal scholastic training for the first time at Boston Latin school and 1812 at the young age of nine.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]
1597 words (4.6 pages)
- Only a few variations of carbon molecules truly separate organisms from objects. Yet this seemingly straightforward science ignores why humans, in all of their complexity, stem from just random happenstance, revealing that the science of life does not necessarily expose its meaning. For that answer, famed Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau look within the self, rather than a laboratory. In his Self-Reliance essay, Emerson hypothesizes the meaning to be in independence; whereas, Thoreau, from his venture in the woods in Walden, theorizes it to be in simplicity.... [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson]
1248 words (3.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Nature, Romanticism, Utilitarianism]
1141 words (3.3 pages)
- In current society, individuality is discouraged because many people want to fit in, so they dress, think, and act the same as the people around them. However, individuality should be embraced, not avoided. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay, “Self Reliance,” he discusses the importance of the individual, believing that being an individual begins and ends with following one’s intuition and trusting oneself. Although the importance of the individual is also a major theme throughout Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” his essay focuses more on applying this principle to real life.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Concord]
1175 words (3.4 pages)
- My birth on July 12, 1817 was the start of a life that would be what I wanted it to be(Salt 17). The evidence that I would lead a life of my very own was very prominent from the day I started school. I done well in school but I had a difficult time staying focused and following the rules. School did not interest me, but I persevered all the way through college. Graduating in 1837 was no easy feat. I had to interact with people daily, and my reserved, impersonal personality made it excruciatingly hard to make friends.... [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau]
1189 words (3.4 pages)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were both born in Massachusetts. Emerson was born in Boston in 1803. Thoreau was born in Concord in 1817. Emerson attended Harvard and then became a Unitarian minister just like his father had been. Thoreau also attended Harvard but upon graduating, became a teacher and opened up a school. Both Emerson and Thoreau gave up their careers to pursue Transcendentalist philosophy. Emerson was one of the first to start the Transcendental Club. Thoreau became Emerson's student after he had moved into his house.... [tags: essays research papers]
442 words (1.3 pages)
- Views of Slavery and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau's Works Two men, similar in their transcendentalist beliefs and yet so different in their methods of expressing their beliefs on handling the issues of society, were major voices in the anti-slavery movement. While their focuses are more on the subjects of morality and individual choice, they still reflect on how slavery should be addressed by the American people, American referring to the free whites who actually make the decisions.... [tags: Slavery Racism Emerson Thoreau Essays]
1726 words (4.9 pages)
- To trace the origin of the Transcendental movement one needs to go back to the city of Concord, Massachusetts. There during the early 19th century many well-known and world-renowned authors were following the practices of one man, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, who was considered America's first philosopher, had earlier traveled to Europe and became fascinated by the concepts of one German philosopher known as Kant. According to Emerson's understanding of Kant, there were two pure objects in the world in which are the bases of everything, nature and soul.... [tags: Emerson and Thoreau Essays]
650 words (1.9 pages)
Henry David Thoreau was one of Emerson's protégés, but unlike Emerson, Thoreau acted on his beliefs instead of just writing them. He is known for only two literary works, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, and his more publicly renown work Walden. Going along with the beliefs of nonconformity and simplicity Thoreau set off to live in the woods near Walden Pond. He stayed there for over 2 years writing down in his journal the day's events and how he connected with nature more and more as each day went by. Thoreau wanted to "suck the marrow out of life", and live life to the best of his ability. After his two years were up he left the woods with the same reason for going to them; he did not want to conform to a set pattern of life. After coming out of the woods, Thoreau explained in one of his most famous essays, Civil Disobedience, how the individual has a stronger power when independent than that of the government. He states, "That government is best that governs least." He felt that one should turn from the law when it is using its power to do things that are disliked. In protesting this belief he failed to pay a government tax and peacefully went to jail for a day. In jail he was at ease saying that no one could ever lock up his soul. This type of protest, known as peaceful resistance, was later used by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
As the years have passed many people have come to live their lives according to the transcendental philosophy. The writings of these two authors and others in the transcendental movement, founded in the city of Concord, have opened new ideas and new ways of coping with one's life. Even after the deaths of Emerson and Thoreau, their beliefs are still studied and practiced today.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Nature." Prentice-Hall Literature: The American Experience.
Editors Eileen Thompson et al. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1991.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "from Self-Reliance." America Reads: The United States in
Literature. Editors James E. Miller et al. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1985.