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Transcendentalism

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on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism- Emerson
Characteristics of Transcendentalism also show how...
Self-knowledge
affects overall knowledge
Self-realization
leads to happiness
Self knowledge
obtained through studying peaceful beauty of
nature

Self-reliance
must be greater than outside authority
Characteristics of Transcendentalism express that...
All forms of life are connected through the
"Over-Soul."
Nature and human nature lead us to
God

Characteristics of Transcendentalism portray how...
Truths lie with
outside experiences
Truth is grasped through
intuition

Understanding
nature
helps you to understand yourself
Individual
considered center of universe- structure of universe impacts individual structure
Who was Ralph Waldo Emerson?
American essayist, lecturer, and poet
One of the original thinkers of his age
Main spokesperson of transcendentalism
Inspired people to turn to nature
This helped people better understand themselves and universal nature
Characteristics of Romanticism include...
Association with
warm colors
and unspoiled
nature
Value of
feeling
over intuition
Placing faith in your
inner experience
and power of
imagination
Reflection on
nature's beauty
as a path to spiritual and moral development
Youthful
innocence

Championship of
individualism

Characteristics of Romanticism also include...
Focusing on
wisdom
Finding
beauty
and
truth
in exotic locales, the
supernatural
realm, and inner
imagination
Poetry
is highest expression of
imagination
Finds inspiration in
myth
,
legend
, and
folklore
Philosophy and Beliefs of Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The American Scholar", which he published, focused on intellectual independence
Emerson believed American writers "had listened too long to the courtly muses of Europe"
Wanted each person to express their own ideas
Believed in individuality
Humans can find themselves through nature
Emerson expresses this philosophy in "Nature"; "Build therefore your own world"
Quest for American Identity
Focus on self-knowledge and self-reliance
Pride in individual self
Reflects spirit of new nation forging its own independence
Quest for American Identity
Breaking out of society's status and labels
Transcendentalism embraced nature- which mirrored the free spirit of the frontier life style in America
"Nature" memorializes this belief; "The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough"
To start with...
What is
Romanticism
?
Artistic movement that dominated Europe and America during the 19th century
Quest of individuals to define themselves
Traced to events of its time
Surge of interest in folklore
Reactions against neoclassicism
Political events
What came after Romanticism?
Romanticism influenced
Transcendentalism
Important movement in philosophy and literature
Philosophy that holds that basic truths can be reached through intuition rather than reason
Philosophy and Beliefs of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Through careful observation of nature, human spirit is reflected in natural world
Believed that truth could be grasped by intuition
Emerson confirms this in "Self-Reliance"; "Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind"
Major themes in Emerson's philosophy: education, process, morality, Christianity, and unity
How does it transcend time?...How does Emerson apply today?
Wisdom of Emerson clearly applies today:
Stop and appreciate the beauty of simplicity of things around you
Don't be afraid to fail or you will never succeed
Your thoughts control you feelings and your feelings control your actions
American dream that you can control your own destiny and anyone can succeed has its foundation in transcendental beliefs and is still true today
Reflection on Transcendentalism through Emerson
Before this class, I had not heard about transcendentalism. Reading "Self-Reliance" and other works prompted me to think more deeply about life and the unseen forces that shape it. Emerson, the father of transcendentalism, focuses on wisdom and individuality as the keys to personal growth. It is NOT about conforming with the status quo, but instead, encourages each person to forge their own path. Transcendentalism focuses on feelings, not just reason. As Emerson states in "Self-Reliance"; "Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string." We should not blindly follow society, but fulfillment comes from being true to our own beliefs.
Works Cited
Websites:
"A Brief Guide to Romanticism."Poets.org. Academy of American Poets, 1997. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

"Authors -- Texts--Transcendentalism." Authors -- Texts--Transcendentalism. American Transcendentalism Web, May 2003. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

Goodman, Russell, Goodman,. "Ralph Waldo Emerson." Stanford University. Stanford University, 03 Jan. 2002. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

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Works Cited
Pictures:
Caspar, David F. The Lure of Nature. Digital image. Porcelains and Peacocks. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

Digital image. American Transcendentalism Web. Psymon, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

Nair, Nayana. Digital image. It Rains in My Heart. WorldPress.com, 21 Apr. 2012. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.

Scewing. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2009. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
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