The Importance Of Transcendentalism

Words: 578
Pages: 3

Transcendentalism, founded in 1836, brought people like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to fame. Their unique ideas and writing styles brought a new set of ideals and morals to the world during a time of renewed faith. Both men believed in the transcendentalist ideals, such as the importance of individuality. Both felt that society affects people in a negative manner. In their works, Emerson and Thoreau utilize different points of view that established a tone in order to spread the ideals of transcendentalism.
Emerson utilizes third person to show the importance of remaining an individual even with the societal pressure to conform. His third person writing comes in the form of a preacher. When writing about people’s reliance on property he
…show more content…
Thoreau explains how he writes for himself, and what may be true to him may not be true to his entire audience. This personal opening feels more like a story, in contrast to Emerson’s gospel-like feel. In his work “Economy,” Thoreau explains how inheritance is worse than someone may realize,“I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of.” Here, man’s inheritance becomes a prison, forcing them to sacrifice themselves in order to deal with the inheritance. Inheritance can destroy a man’s individuality, and impose conformity. Like Emerson, Thoreau stresses the idea that materialistic possessions get in the way of who somebody truly is. Thoreau explains that living as one wants, not as everyone does, is the only way to maintain individuality. Thoreau’s out of the box views put everyday life into perspective and make people embrace their originality with his personal voice and realistic