A New Way of Thinking

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bnboyd
Words 1143
Pages 5
Transcendentalism took off in the 1800’s with a little help from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickenson. These transcendentalists expressed their beliefs through writings such as poems and essays. These few transcendentalists went out of their way to represent their ideals and beliefs. Only a number of people understood the idea of transcendentalism because it is so complex and involved a much deeper thought process. It was this complexity within Transcendentalism that makes it stick out in history still to this day. Transcendentalism is an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England. Transcendentalism was developed in reaction to rationalism in 1836. It taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity. The transcendentalist members held progressive views on feminism and communal living.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the better known transcendentalists, became a transcendentalist in 1832 which lead to the writing of “Self-Reliance” and “The American Scholar.” He later became the central figure of his literary and philosophical group, known as the American Transcendentalist. In the 1840’s he founded and co-edited the literary magazine The Dial. In 1841 and 1844 he published essays, including, “Self-Reliance,” “Friendship” and “Experience.” In “Self-Reliance” Emerson writes: A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. In “Self-Reliance”, Emerson conveys that one must follow for what they believe in. Emerson was a believer in the “divine sufficiency of the individual.” He viewed nature as “the plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, and a perennial festival dressed.” His works define being a transcendentalist because they include descriptions of the profound sense of nature, human…...

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