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Transcendentalists

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by

Jessica Mitchell

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of Transcendentalists

Transcendentalists
Do they have an optimistic or a pessimistic view of life?
They are more pessimistic about life meaning that you can never learn enough and that you can always better yourself mentally. So they advocate education and the way you learn so that you can have as much knowledge of the world as possible.
What is their view of God?
They believe that Nature and the universe is God. We know this because Emerson says "That though the wide universe is full of good....The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what he can do, nor does he know until he has tired." And Thoreau in "Where I lived and what I lived for" says "Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my Life of equal simplicity, and I ma say innocence, with Nature herself. I have been as sincere a worshiper of Aurora as the Greeks."
What are their values?
Transcendentalists value being in touch with nature, "knowing thy self', and always trying to better ones self whenever possible. They also value a mans integrity.
Textual Support:
"the power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what he can do, nor does he until he has tried."
"nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of a man's own mind."
How do they define truth?
They believe in the subjective truth. It depends on how the individual perceives it rather than scientific characteristics.
Textual Evidence:
Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today."
What Is There View Of Education
Transcendentalists believe that education should be self-motivated.
Textual Evidence:
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."
What are their views of work and Worldly success?
Transcendentalists believe that even though man is given the chance of having achieved worldly success that success will not be easily handed to him. One can only achieve success through hard work
Textual Evidence: "Though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till" (Self Reliance-Emerson)
What is their view of society?
Transcendentalists perceive society as superficial and that society revolves around the titles, stereotypes and the customs of the masses rather than focusing on the liberties and culture of an individual.
Textual Evidence:
"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of everyone of its members. 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 aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs
Who is their authority?
Transcendentalist are their own authority. They can rely on themselves. Self-Reliance is a major thing for transcendentalists.
Textual Evidence:
"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind..."
What is their view of society?
Transcendentalists perceive society as superficial and that it revolves around titles, stereotypes, and custom of the masses rather than focusing on the liberties and culture of the individuals.
Textual Evidence:
"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of everyone of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for 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."
Do they view man as inherently good, evil, or somewhere in between?
Transcendentalist believe that man is inherently somewhere between good and exil.
Textual Evidence:
...Our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail.
Full transcript