An Essay On Transcendentalism

Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs.

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He inspired his colleagues to look into themselves, into nature, into art, and through work for answers to life's most perplexing questions.You can search all the texts for words or phrases, and there's even a discussion forum for sharing questions and comments about the great American transcendentalist writer."If a plant cannot live according to his nature, it dies; and so a man" (Emerson, Civil Disobedience, 260). The two most prominent authorities on the philosophy are Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Father of Transcendentalism", and Henry David Thoreau.Because one of the main purposes of transcendentalism is to focus on what you need, instead of what you are told you need, simplicity is key.All unnecessary traditions and customs, that never applied to you or your beliefs in the first place, should be cast aside, and you should only do what is necessary for you to survive and achieve your transcendentalism.They criticized government, organized religion, laws, social institutions, and creeping industrialization.They created an American "state of mind" in which imagination was better than reason, creativity was better than theory, and action was better than contemplation."Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity" (Thoreau, Walden, 253). Simplicity is one of the most basic ideals of transcendentalism.Thoreau saw that most lives were becoming consumed in the mindless details of the modern world.A great admirer of Emerson, Thoreau nevertheless was his own man — described variously as strange, gentle, fanatic, selfish, a dreamer, a stubborn individualist.For two years Thoreau carried out the most famous experiment in self-reliance when he went to , built a hut, and tried to live self-sufficiently without the trappings or interference of society.


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