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Transcendentalism in Movies

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Colin Chenoweth

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Transcendentalism in Movies

Transcendentalism in Our Everyday Lives
Fight Club
Fight Club shows non-conformity because the whole movie is about not conforming to society.
In the beginning of the movie Edward Norton likes conforming and tries to be apart of society. Upon joining fight club he realizes society won't give him what he wants in life and stops conforming.
“We are begotten and our life has its source from what a trivial and sensual Pleasure.” - Thoreau
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Thoreau
In the movie"Avatar" the people on the planet Pandora believe that everything that every living thing on the planet is sacred.
they will sacrifice their lives for even the smallest living things.
they try to fight off the humans in every way they can in order to save the giant tree of life.
When Nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it. -Emerson
Self Reliance
Over Soul
the movie Avatar is also a great example for the over soul that transcendentalism involves.
in the movie avatar, the people that live on the planet pandora believe that every living thing in nature is connected through and energy.
this energy is a type of oversoul that all thinbgs are connected through
in order to connect to the over soul the avatars ur their tails
From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all. -Emerson
Simplified Life
In the movie Fight Club, Brad Pitt talks about how life, in his opinion, is limited to working for money to buy things we don't need, and how it is a waste of life. Similar to this statement, Thoreau believed in simplifying all aspects of life down to the necessities: something many of us could not achieve.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if i could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Thoreau
Transcendentalism is an American literary movement started by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Transcendentalist were critical of modern society and liked non-conformity. Transcendentalism has 5 major points being: Non-Conformity, Self Reliance, Over soul, Simplified Life, and Nature.
Reverence for Nature
Fight Club and Simplified Life
Take a look at Walden!
"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. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self - reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs...a great soul has nothing to do. he may as well concern himself with is shadow on the wall" - Ralph Waldo Emerson "Self-Reliance"
In Fight Club, Brad Pitt speaks about people and the objects they value on such a high level that it will someday ruin them. "The things you own, end up owning you." Like Emerson, Fight Club speaks on how society is captured by materialistic things, where as the material creator is the largest benefactor and the only way to escape is to be self-reliant without those objects. In some cases of realization, it takes the loss of everything. "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."
"The things you own, end up owning you."
Fight Club and Self Reliance
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything."
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