Transcendentalism Essays

American Transcendentalists

American transcendentalists sought the permanent spiritual reality behind physical appearances. They were optimistic and believed in human perfectibility; they engaged in projects that tried to create the ideal reality. They believed that the universe is one great entity. Transcendentalism centres on the divinity of each individual. But this divinity could be self-discovered only if the person had the independence of mind. They believed in democracy, equality, the unlimited power of the individual and the beauty of the human spirit and…

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Grapes of Wrath Theme

The main theme of The Grapes of Wrath is the idea that all men are part of the family of man. This is closely related to the philosophical movement of transcendentalism, what the author Ralph Waldo Emerson followed. There are four main points of the story that express this in the story; the ex-preacher’s search for purpose, Ma Joad’s understanding of working together, Pa turning from making money for himself to providing for the group and finally Tom’s decision to…

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Thoreau_ Solitude

Henry David Thoreau is synonymous with Transcendentalism.  His mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson, was the creator of the movement.  Because he truly believed in the concepts, Thoreau actually practiced it to the letter. Transcendentalism, a free meditation in spirituality and individualistic approach to everything, was something that he gave his life to exploring.  He expounded on these views in Civil Disobedience and through his magnificent Plea for John Brown. Thoreau actually experimented with this idea when he self-imposed an exile on…

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Transcendentalism in Emersons Writing

I chose the reading by Emerson; I believe there is a lot of transcendentalism in this reading. Well I don’t believe there is a lot of transcendentalism, starting with the first paragraph first sentence where he writes, “Our Age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchers of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes.  He writes in confidence about his beliefs and how he feels about,…

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Self Reliance Paper

Part I Author- The author of this document is Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century.  Audience- The audience of Self-reliance would be people reading Emerson’s literary works around the year 1841. Also, Self-reliance was a speech before it became an essay so many people listening to Emerson speak at events would have most likely heard it. He is targeting his audience at young and medium aged…

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Transcendentalism_ What It Is_ Examples of It; Critics Against It; Position on It

Transcendentalism was an intellectual movement founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are three cornerstones of the Transcendentalist belief which are * Human senses are limited; they convey knowledge of the physical world, but deeper truths can be grasped only through intuition. * The observation of nature illuminates the nature of human beings. * God, nature, and humanity are united in a shared universal soul. (pg. 387 under Literary Analysis) Our human senses are limited to what we have in the…

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Henry David Thoreau_ Transcendentalist

Henry David Thoreau spent much time studying nature and applying those studies to the human condition. His Transcendentalist ideas shone through in his writings and his life. In “Economy” he asks, “Why has man rooted himself thus firmly in the earth, but that he may rise in the same proportion into the heavens above” (Thoreau 58). He asks this question in response to man’s ever increasing need to have more than the basic necessities of life. In other words, if…

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You Only Live Once

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough,” –Mae West. The Transcendentalist time period relates mostly to the philosophy, “Live life to the fullest. ” Transcendentalists’ believe in self-reliance, individualism, and inner spiritual beliefs, just like any person who wants to live their life to the fullest. Every person should enjoy every moment of their lives by appreciating everything in order to follow their dreams and to live their lives to the fullest. The most…

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Out from Behind This Mask Review

•Synopsis In Whitman’s poem Out From Behind This Mask, the poem starts out by talking about the passion and excitement that to many, lies just out of reach. Whitman is trying to illustrate how this ecstasy is much closer than once thought, by comparing the barrier as a curtain or a mask. The wonders that lie beyond this mask range from “passionate teeming plays” to “the glaze of God’s serenest, purest sky. ” To Whitman, the possibilities are endless. In…

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Transcendentalism in Mumford and Sons

The era of transcendentalism is filled with a new way of thinking. A way that provokes a man’s inner thoughts and encourages them to be set free, and expressed to those around him. A step further from the previous movement of Romanticism, Transcendentalist writers expresses this sense of individuality in their works, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as many more. Emerson’s literature lives to inspire individuals to transcend- to rise above, to pass beyond limits. Though there is no…

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Transcendentalism of Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau had many talents and interests and who spent most of his time communing and appreciating nature.  He even looked for God behind the stars.  In his works, he urged his readers to re-examine their lives as he did with his.  He had many questions about life and searched nature for answers.  He was fundamentally a transcendentalist in the sense that he goes beyond sensual experiences to see the innermost meanings in the mundane.  He sees not just…

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Analysis of Whether or not Transcendentalism Is Relevant to Modern Day Society

Some aspects of Transcendentalism can be applied in today’s society, while others have lost their relevance due to the changes of social and economic conditions since the time of Thoreau. The Transcendentalists’ goal was to create a Utopia in America. They believed in a society without rules in which you would be free to do whatever you wanted as long as it did not infringe on the freedom or well-being of others. The concept of what is a Utopia is…

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Romantic & Transcendental Synthesis

During the 19th century a literary revolution occurred involving new never before seen styles and ideas. Before this time most written works spoke purely of God and what was in the bible. These pieces spoke of the mercy in God as well as the wrath he could inflict. In those times it was sin to fabricate fictitious stories for entertainment, if there were to be a story it had to have happened. However in the 19th century, things changed. A…

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Vs. Walt Whitman

In their respective fields, both Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson were considered to be quintessential American writers. Their thoughts and statements regarding nonconformity and individuality were revolutionizing for the era that they lived. Thanks to them,similar thoughts and statements, are now much more mainstream and unexceptional.Although they used different tactics to get their points across, their shared opinions become evident. Both Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson believed strongly in originality and personal expression;although the different tactics that they…

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Into the Wild Trans

Transcendentalism is a long word to describe very free-minded people. Throughout the novel “Into the Wild” Chris McCandless, the main character, ventures off into the wild to experience nature at a personal level. Chris comes from a household in which personal relationships, between him and his parents, were not present. While living in this environment, Chris never really felt as if he belonged. It did not take too long before Chris had packed up his bags with nothing but a…

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