Transcendentalism In Anthem, By Ayn Rand

Words: 587
Pages: 3

The Transcendentalists hold many beliefs and principles, many of which revolve around nature, that are expressed throughout several different works. Transcendentalists believe that nature is in all surroundings and within every individual, and can therefore provide that individual with spiritual insight. It is also believed that people are at their best when they are self-reliant. Furthermore, the concept of nonconformity is another belief held by the Transcendentalists, which can be shown in Anthem by Ayn Rand. Transcendentalist beliefs are thoroughly expressed throughout all of these writings.
The belief that nature is within all life and inanimate objects is a prominent principle that the Transcendentalists follow. In Walking, by Henry David Thoreau, this principle is reiterated throughout the text. Thoreau states that
…show more content…
A component of this belief is that all people must have their own thoughts and must be able to stand by them. This principle plays a large part in Self-Reliance, by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and is further emphasized when he writes, “envy is ignorance...imitation is suicide...and [man] must take himself for better or worse,” (Emerson 643). With attention to “envy is ignorance” and “imitation is suicide,” Emerson is trying to get across the idea that envy and conformity are the worst qualities of man to exhibit. Envy is a weakness because it causes man to lose his own thoughts and individuality, and it prompts mankind to conform to society. The last section of the quote emphasizes the importance of man standing by his own notions, no matter the quality of those ideas. To accentuate that importance, Emerson writes, “to believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men- that is genius,” (Emerson 642). When man stands by his own thoughts and beliefs, and is truly self-reliant, he is at his