Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.



Overview of the Transcendental Movement in American Literature

Stephanie Lanik

on 18 August 2017

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Transcendentalism

Five Major Tenets of

Major Authors
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
Moral Compass
People are inherently good.
And American Literature was born...(?)
In other words:
L2J Definition:

A literary movement that believes truth exists beyond reason and experience.
The Transcendentalists were an exclusive collection of writers who rebelled against the writers of the "Age of Reason" (i.e. Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) who felt like everything had to have physical evidence to be true.

The Transcendentalists felt that truth could exist without hard evidence.
The Transcendentalists believed it was time for literary independence. And so they deliberately went about creating literature, essays, novels, philosophy, poetry, and other writings that were clearly different from anything from England, France, Germany, or any other European nation.
The Puritans believed that all definitions of right and wrong came straight from the Bible and that, without it, we would not know the difference.
Transcendentalists believed we know in our gut what is right and wrong. That's our moral compass.
Puritans believed the people were inherently evil and that God and the study of the Bible could make them good.
Transcendentalists believed the opposite. People were born inherently good, and society corrupts them.
*Do not be who other people think you should be.
*Ideas should be original.
*Embrace the unconventional.
*Graduated from Harvard Divinity School and became an ordained Unitarian minister.
* Emerson collected writer friends. He was close to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
*Emerson's book on transcendentalism, Nature, was published anonymously. He did not want his name on the book because the topic was so controversial at the time of publication.
*Emerson was both in favor of women's rights and opposed to slavery. His views were quite progressive for his time, and his audiences would sometimes shout him down at public appearances.
Thoreau's impact extended beyond his time.
His writings on civil disobedience influenced reformers like Martin Luther King, Jr.
His environmentalism convinced naturalist John Muir to found the national parks system.
And Walden's do-it-yourself, live-off-the-land simplicity has inspired generations of environmentalists.
Emerson said of him after his death: "He had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home."
What is the difference between solitude and loneliness?
What can we learn from solitude?
Importance of Nature
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.
--Henry David Thoreau
the "Oversoul"
Oversoul is a kind of cosmic unity among man, God, and nature.
Henry David Thoreau was jailed for refusing to pay poll taxes. He didn't believe in the Spanish-American war and refused to support it.
It's a part of the much larger Romantic movement.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
--Henry David Thoreau
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
*Nature is pure and untouched by the corrupt nature of man. They felt there was a beauty in this.
*Civilization = Evil
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.
--Henry David Thoreau
Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it.
--Henry David Thoreau
Free Thought
Imitation is suicide
*Only rely on yourself - be independent.
*Don't expect or wait for others to do it for you. Reach for your dreams.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
--Henry David Thoreau
*Believe what is true to you.
*Respect of others' opinions.
It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear.
--Henry David Thoreau
*Have confidence in who you are.
*Have confidence in the beauty of love
*Believe in yourself and your ideas.
Envy is ignorance.
--Henry David Thoreau
The Transcendentalists were criticized for this belief because it was contrary to organized religion.

Transcendentalists believed in a spiritual, individual, and private relationship with God. They believed in solitary reflection.

This mentality left the institution of church out of the equation for a relationship with God.
Full transcript