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Transcendentalism

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by

Megan Lennox

on 6 October 2016

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Transcript of Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism
Transcendentalism is...
a literary movement

a philosophy

a way of being
Characteristics of Transcendentalism
Walden Pond
Henry David Thoreau went to live out the Transcendental lifestyle, alone, in an isolated area near Walden Pond
Background
From 1840-1855, literature in America experienced a rebirth called the New England Renaissance (Romanticism was a part of this).
Through their poetry, short stories, novels, and other works, writers during this period established a clear American voice.
No longer did they see their work as less influential than that of European authors.
Transcendentalism was a part of this "flowering" of American literature.
believed in living closer to nature
saw the need for intellectual companions
believed in the unity of all things through an "Over Soul"
insisted on a break from tradition and custom
considered man's relationship to God a personal matter
self-trust and self-reliance
Important voices in this movement:
Ralph Waldo Emerson (the philosopher and teacher)
Henry David Thoreau (the student and practitioner)
Goal of the movement
: to have individuals "transcend" to a higher spiritual level by seeking spiritual, not material, greatness and the essential truths of life through intuition.
Full transcript