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Transcendentalism

in Pop Culture
by

Claire Arneson

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism Claire E. Arneson NONCONFORMITY "Working Class Hero"
by John Lennon "When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years / and then they expect you to pick a career / When you can't really function you're so full of fear / A working class hero is something to be." The song "Working Class Hero" talks about a society that has the ability to mold individuals to its will; this idea is what transcendentalists oppose in a society. Throughout the piece, Lennon encourages individuals to break away from the monotonous tone of the life society has planned for them and become a hero to individuals "stuck" in the working class. This transcendental view of society reflects nonconformity as it encourages people to rebel against "the normal" society has set into play today. Optimism THE LORAX "The last seed?" Based on Dr. Seuss' book of the same title, the movie, THE LORAX, is a reflection of human impacts on the world around us. Underneath this, however, a theme of optimism shows through. The Once-ler encourages Ted to look towards the future and plan for generations to come. In this way, THE LORAX reflects the transcendentalist idea that there will always be hope for the future, that things are never entirely terrible and hopeless. Simplicity "You and I"
by Ingrid Michelson "Don't you worry there my honey / We might not have any money / But we've got our love to pay the bills / ... Ooo let's get rich and buy our parent's homes in the south of France / Let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters and teach them how to dance / Let's get rich and build a house on a mountain makin' everybody look like ants / From way up there, you and I, you and I." For transcendentalists, the idea of simplicity means living with what you need and accepting the things you have. In the song "You and I," Ingrid Michaelson describes a life style that revolves around experiences and what individuals can contribute to the group. By mentioning giving back and accepting simple experiences, not things, that happen during one's lifetime, this song is able to represent the transcendentalist idea of simplicity. WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
by Maria Semple "'That's right,' she told the girls. 'You are bored. And I'm going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it's boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it's on you to make life interesting, the better off you'll be.'" The idea of self-reliance refers to the belief that each person is an individual that has the ability to be a completely unique and independent individual. In this quote from Maria Semple's book, WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, the concept of self-reliance is conveyed as Bernadette explains to her daughter the importance of being your own person. As Semple explains that you are the only person with the ability to dictate your own life, she is putting ideas from the transcendental movement to life in modern literature. Confidence "Big Bad World"
By the Plain White T's "It's a big bad world, we're doin what we can / Sometimes we fall on our face before we even learn to stand / But we get back up, shake off all the dust and take it step by step / I can fill the whole floor to the ceiling / with all the dead wrong choices I've made / But even though we try to learn from each other's mistakes / We'll do it again / ... Till eventually we can change the way its always been." Confidence, the ability to recognize and admire one's own abilities, is a major part of the ideas backing the transcendental movement. In the song, "Big Bad World," confidence is portrayed as a person's ability to bounce back from situations that bring you down so that one goal of utmost importance can be reached. This song also expresses the importance of believing in your individual ability to overcome obstacles and keep the end in sight. Both of these aspects tie into the idea that confidence contributes to the development of the individual,one of the aspects of transcendentalism. Lyrics from metrolyrics.com
Book quotes from goodreads.com
Movie quotes from imdb.com
Clips from youtube.com Self-Reliance "It's not about what it is.
It's about what it can become.
Just like... You're not just a boy." *Cover by Green Day
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