Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes Essay

Submitted By kylee1996
Words: 474
Pages: 2

Transcendentalism, based in New England, was a movement of the nineteenth century that believed individual experience ruled over logical reasoning. Writers involved in this movement were Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Oliver Wendell Holmes. These poets all had a strong connection with nature.
In his poems, Oliver Wendell Holmes utilizes imagery, symbolism, and hope to portray the strong will of the people during Transcendentalism. For example, Oliver Wendell Holmes showed how strong and powerful America is in Old Ironside; “Oh, better that her shattered hulk Should sink beneath the wave…” He talks about how a ship that has fought for many years is ready to come down. This can be interpreted as a country finally getting victory after giving everything they had. This also can be related to how strong people were during that time .Many people during this stood firm in their beliefs no matter the repercussion. The Old Ironside may have represented the country and its strong persevering people of that time. They had fought for many years, and they were finally ready to find peace.
Transcendentalism was also shown through the strong will of the country. During this time, transcendentalists found independence very important. It seems as though this poem could be a symbolism of freedom. Transcendentalism was usually shown through nature, but transcendentalists also had strong determination for things they believed in. Like stated before, they had worked so hard for many years, and they were ready to rest. They had come to do what needed to be done and they accomplished it. The second poem, "Sun and Shadow" seemed to be just as uplifting as “Old Ironside.” It was mainly about nature and all the things that encompass nature. In the poem, Oliver Wendell Holmes is trying to tell the reader that they will always be seen, no matter if