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Transcript of TRANSCENDENTALISM
Nature is pure and untouched from the corrupt ways of mankind
Transcendentalists believed in a spiritual and private relationship with God
They believed this private relationship was built by solitary and internal reflection, which was easiest in nature away from influence from society.
Into the Wild
pg. 28-29: Chris McCandless leaves his Datsun behind and burns all of his money.
pg. 124: During McCandless senior year at Emory, he lived off campus in his "bare, spartan room furnished with milk crates and a mattress on the floor."
pg. 163: "Two years [McCandless walked] the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. ULTIMATE FREEDOM!"
Material Wealth is least important
Man in the middle
Materialism and technology distract
from the essential parts of life.
Striving for material goods is worthless and superficial.
Materialism and technology are bad.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all encumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.
HENRY D. THOREAU
Society is a source of corruption.
"Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater."
Quotes From Thoreau and Emerson
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it" -Thoreau
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Transcendentalists believed that we were born free and pure.
In order for society to function it requires conformity, killing individuality.
Follow your own intuition.
We don't need laws or customs.
Into The Wild
pg.120 "He didn't care that it wasn't a cool thing to do."
pg.56-57 "So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation...nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.
Who Are They?
People who sought for a deeper spirituality and
meaning to life.
They believe each person needs to find the truth within themselves.
They also believed society needed reform and that people should only rely on personal reasoning.
From Walden by Henry David Thoreau
"None believeth in the soul of man, but only in some man or person old and departed. Ah me! no man goeth alone. All men go in flocks to this saint or that poet, avoiding the God who seeth in secret. They cannot see in secret; they love to be blind in public. They think society is wiser than their soul, and know not that one soul, and their soul, is wiser than the whole world."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Examples from Into the Wild
McCandless says to Ron Franz " I will miss you too, but you are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships. God's place is all around us, it is in everything and anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at things."
This quote can be related to the Transcendentalist theme that God is found in nature
The very idea that McCandless desires to journey in Alaska supports that a key tenant of transcendentalism is that God is found in Nature because he is escaping from society in the hope that he can find himself and connect with the universe, God and nature.
Into the Wild:
The first wealth is health.
Money often costs too much.
Stanford University. Stanford University, n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2014.
PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
"The Neoplatonic Conception of Nature in More, Cudworth, and Berkeley - Springer." The Neoplatonic Conception of Nature in More, Cudworth, and Berkeley - Springer. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Oct. 2014.
"The Search for The Divine." The Search for The Divine. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2014.
"PAL: American Transcendentalism: ABrief Introduction." PAL: American Transcendentalism: ABrief Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
"Into the Wild." -. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014.
"Quotes About Transcendentalism." (20 Quotes). N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.
Rely on Yourself.
Entirely depend only on your own capabilities, judgment, and resources.
Trust no one. Be independent and self-reliant.
"A boy is in the parlour what the pit is in the playhouse; independent, irresponsible, looking out from his corner on such people and facts as pass by, he tries and sentences them on their merits, in the swift, summary way of boys, as good, bad, interesting, silly, eloquent, troublesome. He cumbers himself never about consequences, about interests: he gives an independent, genuine verdict. You must court him: he does not court you. But the man is, as it were, clapped into jail by his consciousness."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you."
-Frank Lloyd Wright
Into The Wild
"Said he didn't want to see a
single person, no airplanes, no sign of civilization. He wanted to prove to himself that he could make it on his own, without anybody else's help."