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Transcendentalism

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by

Lisa Meskimen

on 10 December 2014

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Transcript of Transcendentalism

"It's My Life" by Bon Jovi
Tenet 1
In this painting the
Runaway by Norman
Rockwell, a young boy
(assumed to have run away from home) is sitting by a police officer. Rather than being scolded or reprimanded,the policeman is having a friendly conversation with him. This corresponds with tenet one because it demonstrates the policeman's unexpected kindness towards someone you'd think would be treated more harshly.
Tenet 1
"Heart of Gold" by Neil Young
Tenet 2
In this street art by Banksy, a businessman holding his umbrella is shielded from the colorful rain while the child is unprotected and has absorbed the colors. The businessman looks stressed whereas the child seems liberated and happy. This suggests that there is something holding the businessman back that isn't doing so for the child. This could be the want to fit in and conform and relates to the second tenet of transcendentalism because it suggests that the businessman is bleak and dull compared to the child who isn't afraid to be separate of other people and the norms and is
more of an individual.
Transcendentalism
in Popular
Culture

It suggests that there is empathy and at the base of everyone.
Tenet 3
Tenet 4
Tenet 5
This painting relates to tenet four because it implies a spirit or mystical element within the person that originates from the world around them. There isn't a shape or form put to the force, like for example, a male figure to represent god, but it is assumed that there is something unifying, universal, and spiritual about it.
This corresponds with the fifth tenet because it is saying multiple things about society and conformity. It shows a person evolving over time into a bar code, which suggests that we're more like products of society than our own individuals.
It also implies that this is the same for the
majority of people because of the tendency to conform. Conforming is a lot easier than standing out,and from a survival standpoint, it's safer to fit in. This drawing implies that there is that pressure to conform and to be more of a product of what people want than a genuine, distinct individual.



Tenet 3
"Heartlines"by Florence + the Machine
A phrase that is repeated in the chorus of the song is
"Just keep following the heartlines on your hand".
A heartline is a certain line on the palm that is supposed to reflect a person's emotional state. The whole song is about life being complicated and difficult but not giving up and moving forward. By saying to follow the heartlines, she is saying to keep going with what feels right deep down in the person. This goes along with tenet 3 because the heartlines are a form of intuition. Whether that be intuition about a romance or life in general, the message is that you should base your decisions off of that.
Tenet 5
Tenet 1
Tenet 3
Tenet 2
Tenet 2
There are many examples in
Les Mis
where a character displays acts of kindness and altruism. In one particular scene, Jean Valjean has just been freed from many years in prison. He is welcomed into a priest's home, where he is fed and given a place to sleep. During the night, he steals the priest's silverware. When caught by the police with the silverware, the priest pretends he had given Valjean the silverware and even gives him two more candlesticks. This act of kindness, which some could argue Valjean didn't deserve, demonstrates the suprising extent to which man can forgive and show empathy for and corresponds with the first tenet because of this.
While spirituality plays a huge role in the novel
Siddhartha
by Hermann Hesse, intuition is another thing that Siddhartha relies on to make sense of the world and form his own insights. Hesse writes that
"Too much knowledge had hindered him, too many holy verses, too many rules concerning sacrifices, too much castigation, too much doing and striving...Now he saw it, and saw that the secret voice had been right, that no teacher yet had been able to save him".
Siddhartha came to his spiritual revelations not through what others could offer but what nature had to offer, and his intuition. This goes along with tenet 3, which stresses the reliance on intuition to understand the world.
In this 2014 Apple advertisement for the iPad air, a diverse range of people are using the iPad in many unique environments. In the background is Robin Willian's monologue in the movie
Dead Poets Society.
The monologue, as well as the varying locations and types of people using the iPad imply the individuality amongst all of them. "That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" is part of the monologue that stresses the importance of identity and "creating your own verse". The ad is primarily encouraging the sales of iPads, of course, but with it they're trying to say that it's for anyone, no matter their occupation or race or interests. From this you can see that the concept of individuality is encouraged and embraced (just like in the 4th tenet).
This song is about being an individual and not caring about what other people want or expect you to be. In the beginning of the song, Jon says
"I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd, you're gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud".
This shows the desire to stand out and be bold about doing so.
Other lyrics express the idea of not succumbing to the pressures of what others want-
"This is for the ones who stood their ground"
&
"Better stand tall when they're calling you out".
The line
"Luck ain't even lucky, got to make your own breaks"
encourages individuals taking
initiative to follow their dreams.
The most obvious part of this song that makes it an anthem of individuality is the repetition of
"It's my life"
, which stresses the fact that your life is yours and yours alone, therefore, no one else or nothing else should govern it. These themes of making your own choices and living life your way reflect the basis of tenet 2.
The theme of the song is searching for a heart of gold. The lyric
"It's these expressions I never give that keep me searching for a heart of gold, and I'm getting old"
imply that his search for someone with a heart of gold has been a long one, and also that there's something in his own self that he lacks that he wants to find in someone else. The long search has also been a large one, Neil expresses when he sings that
"I've been to Hollywood, I've been to Redwood, I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold."
The person with a heart of gold could be a someone that won't let him down like other humans have. The song begins with him saying
"I want to live. I want to give"
, which shows his desire to be good. This, combined with wanting to find someone of that same goodness relates to the first tenet of transcendentalism, even though it doesn't
imply that humans are inherently good.
by Lisa Meskimen
Tenet 5
"Pack Up" by Eliza Doolittle
This song is about caring a little less in general about what others think and say. In the chorus it is repeated "I don't care what the people may, say what the people may say about me." It promotes not giving into the pressure from society to conform to their opinions and beliefs.
Tenet 4
"Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas
In the song, Pocahontas says that she knows every rock, tree, and creature has a life, a spirit, and a name. This means that there is a spiritual essence to nature that unites all of it (sort of like an oversoul). The song also focuses on nature and the beauty and importance of it, which is another major theme in transcendentalism.
This painting by Pamela Matthews displays tenet 3, the reliance on intuition to understand the world. The focus of the painting is on the mind of the person and it looks like they are absorbing everything around them. Their finger is to their lips, which implies that they are in a thinking or reflective state. They appear to be dependent on their intuition in order to make a decision.
by Amjad Rasmi
ParaNorman
The movie ParaNorman is about a boy who stands out from everyone else. He is labeled as a freak and a weirdo, and even his own father wishes he were different. Society wants him to conform to be more like them, but because he doesn't, he is teased and taunted for being different. This goes along with tenet 5, which deals with corrupt powers of society seeking conformity over individualism.
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