StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Transcendentalism in Thoreaus Walden - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Transcendentalism in Thoreaus Walden

Surrounded by forest, it was and remains a peaceful town, close enough to Boston's lectures, book-stores, and colleges to be intensely cultivated, but far away enough to be serene. Concord was the first rural artist's colony, and the first place to offer a spiritual and cultural alternative to American materialism. It was a place of high-minded conversation and simple living (Emerson and Thoreau both had vegetable gardens). Emerson, who moved to Concord in 1834, and Thoreau are most closely associated with the town, but the locale also attracted Hawthorne, Fuller, Alcott and Channing. The transcendental club was loosely organized in 1836. Unlike many European groups, the Transcendentalists never issued a manifesto. They insisted on individual differences - on the unique view point of the individual. American writers often saw themselves as lonely explorers outside society and convention.
It is the writing of Thoreau and of Emerson that has been the most enduring product of American transcendentalism. Thoreau and Emerson's friendship blossomed during the autumn after Thoreau returned home from college in 1837. "Emerson was then at the height of his intellectual and creative powers. His philosophy of striving and self-reliance strongly attracted Thoreau, who had the good fortune to be granted the society of America's leading progressive thinker just as he began his career." (Cafaro, Philip. Thoreau's Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue.) Thoreau accepted Emerson as his mentor and began to keep a journal on his suggestion. Emerson criticized Thoreau's articles and sent them across to different editors, with mixed reviews. He provided the site for Thoreau's experiments at Walden Pond. While Emerson was disseminating his mature philosophy, Thoreau was still trying to formulate his own message, acquire the necessary skills to write creatively and gain a foothold so that he could at least make his ends meet. Given Thoreau's extreme individualism and his sense of independence, this relationship of dependence was bound to give rise to discontent. The two men were two different personalities and differed greatly in temperament. Emerson was active socially whereas Thoreau preferred to his solitary mode. Emerson owned some property and was a family man, which made him regard the social norms with some respect. Thoreau on the other hand, was explicitly critical of what he considered hypocrisy, pettiness, and herd mentality.
Quite naturally, these personality clashes gave way to grave intellectual differences: "one of their first recorded quarrels occurred during an afternoon walk when Thoreau, noting the proliferation of fences along the road, declared that he would not abide by them, as he had as much right to "God's earth" as anyone. Emerson responded with a defense of the institution of private property. Harmon smith suggests that Emerson's subsequent essay, "The Protest", was directed towards Thoreau. In it, Emerson warns aspiring youths of the dangers of letting their frustrations at society's shortcomings consume their time and talents." (Cafaro, Philip. Thoreau's Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue.) Gradually, when Thoreau began to think on his own, their relationship was further strained. "Emerson was a generous open-minded man, but as ...Show more

Summary

The Transcendentalist Movement was a reaction against eighteenth century rationalism and manifestation of the general humanitarian trend of nineteenth century thought. The movement was based on a fundamental belief in the unity of the world and God. The soul of each individual was thought to be identical with the world - a microcosm of the world itself…
Author : horacio81
Transcendentalism in Thoreaus Walden essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Transcendentalism in Thoreaus Walden"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Thoreau's Walden: Freedom through Transcendentalism
He borrowed an axe, purchased the boards from an Irish railroad worker’s shanty, and constructed a ten-by-fifteen-foot shed. He moved to his shed on the emblematic time of Independence Day. He lived ascetically, relying on a simple diet that mostly depended on what he harvested, and spending less than nine dollars for food for the first eight months of his Walden existence.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Transcendentalism
Others would be longer lasting as they established a foothold, built a congregation, and developed followers from coast to coast. The First Church of the Latter Day Saints, The Enlightenment, Materialism, and Idealism have all had varying degrees of popularity and success.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Thoreaus Masculinity
In Thoreau's, Walden and other Writings, he addresses concepts like economy and a return to the wild. Through his connection, with nature he finds a clear path to universal truth. His works total over 20 volumes and include every topic from history, philosophy, ecology and environmentalism.
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
The varied carol i hear
important contributions in literature throughout the centuries and will show how the literature of the time reflected attitudes toward religion, idealism and social reality. Finally, it will allow the reader a glimpse at the works of the most celebrated authors in American
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Thoreaus philosophy
For Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), this action by the US government is not done for the sake of the American people; instead, it is done to quench the governments thirst for power and
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Walden pond
of sleep in this piece is metaphorical of man’s ability to dwell by routine regardless of the various questions and meanings set out by nature and existence (Thoreau 141). The author concentrates on asking the readers of the piece to ensure an awakening, which is spiritual.
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Analysis from walden
On the other hand, we are also put in a world that revolves around the orbit of Mother Nature that follows a cycle that will forever reign on it. The moment we try to
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Transcendentalism
as the universe center in a spiritual sense, embodying that universe in microcosm, and an individuals personal and shared history and his very nature embodying nature and the unfolding of the entire cosmos itself. This tenet shifts the attention to the individual as the
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Transcendentalim and Walden
The concept of transcendentalism as a philosophical movement of individualism, self-reliance and non-conformity is introduced. The elements of
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Walden
The first characteristic feature of the narrator of the novel, which arrests the reader’s attention, is his adherence to the idea of people has a right to live as they choose even though they choose to
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation