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Transcript of Transcendentalism
What was the Transcendentalist Movement?
Transcendentalism was a movement in America in the nineteenth century where focus was put on changing the unthinking conformity of society.
The transcendentalist movement was inspired by the Romanticism movement.
Transcendentalists' (and romanticists') focused on the idea that mankind had endless possibilities of goodness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Graduated Harvard University and became a minister until the death of his first wife.
Remarried and became a writer and lecturer while living most of his adult life in Concord, Massachusetts.
Published "Nature" in 1836 which was an essay explaining the main principles of Transcendentalism. Its publication was followed by a period of intense intellectual excitement and literary activity.
Emerson was very important to the movement as editor of the Transcendental periodical "The Dial", and as a high-profile writer and lecturer.
First American writer to receive recognition abroad a "classic" literary artist.
Was the first to write short stories
The legend of Sleepy Hollow
Anti-Transcendentalism or Realism
Anti-Transcendentalism, also called dark romanticism, is a literary movement that focused mostly on the dark side of the human society. It came around the same time Transcendentalism came. When people started to see Transcendentalism, some of them decided to show others the real flaws of the world. Anti-Transcendentalism showed how corrupt the society really was. It emphasized war, diseases, natural disasters, murders, etc. Authors wrote about worlds like this. Books were wrote by authors with worlds similar to this. The Scarlet Letter and Moby Dick just to name a couple. Paintings were made as well. The Enigma and Fading Away just to name a couple.
What was the Result?
Although Transcendentalism in its proper sense did not last much into the 1850s, American literature as a whole saw a revival that may not have been possible without the inspiration of Emerson, Thoreau, and their ilk. The decade or so before the Civil War has in the last century come to be known as the American Renaissance. The literary productions of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman shifted the balance of power in English literature away from the British Isles and towards the United States. The new American literature was bold, fresh, and young. It encompassed the sweep of the prairies and the energies of the explorers.
By: Nick Shinault, Kassandra Reyes, Rylee Wagner, and Alex Skelton
Motives Behind the Movement
American transcendentalism was an important movement in philosophy and literature that flourished during the early to middle years of the nineteenth century (about 1836-1860). It began as a reform movement in the Unitarian church, extending the views of William Ellery Channing on an indwelling God and the significance of intuitive thought. It was based on "a monism holding to the unity of the world and God, and the immanence of God in the world" (Oxford Companion to American Literature 770). For the transcendentalists, the soul of each individual is identical with the soul of the world and contains what the world contains.
"We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak with our own minds...A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men."
Henry David Thoreau
“This whole earth in which we inhabit is but a point in space.”
While at Harvard, Henry read Ralph Waldo Emerson's book, Nature, he never finished exploring its ideas.
At the age of 28 in 1845, wanting to write his first book, he went to Walden pond and built his cabin on land owned by Emerson
Spent much of his life perfecting his famous book "Waldon".
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.
James Fenimore Cooper
Cooper was one of the first American novelist to become international known for his work creating lively stories of adventure in the far west and in the deep seas.
Cooper explored the meanings of American frontier experience by creating the typical Western hero, much like in one of his best sellers, The Leather stocking,
Cooper was the first to shine light on what life was like being a cowboy out in the far west lands of America.
“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality.”
Walt was a Poet of early American years.
Walt started out describing rhythmically and poetically the scenery of the newly industrialized America
As well as putting in his own political beliefs when it came to matters like slavery
Walt was one of the first few to use his poetic abilities to help influence the average American’s view on issues during early America.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”
Louisa May Alcott
Louisa began her writings in the late 1800’s by starting to tell stories of American family life. Mostly from little children’s point of view.
Louisa wrote about life and how it was for kids growing up in New England. She shined a light on life in the Northeast.
"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
Herman was the best of his time at combining both fact and fictional figures together.
He’s most famous book was Moby-Dick.
Herman was one of the first man that could create a great fictional story while at the same time applying to real life situations in the modern America’s life style.
“He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great.”
Work Cited Page
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Woodlief, Ann. American Transcendentalism Web. Copyright, 2012. Web. 31 Oct 2013. <http://transcendentalism-legacy.tamu.edu/authors/emerson/>.
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Karcher, Carolyn. Cengage Learning, Herman Melville. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Oct 2013. <http://college.cengage.com/english/lauter/heath/4e/students/author_pages/early_nineteenth/melville_he.html>.
Margaret Fuller. Copyright, 2013. Web. 3 Nov 2013. <http://www.margaretfuller.org/>.
Transcendentalists. 2010. Photograph. Wikipedia.orgPrint
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